Chinese government awards US$4.1m for local projects in Thailand

Picture courtesy of Pattanapong Sripiachai

A robust financial boost of US$4.1 million, equivalent to 151 million baht, is being awarded by the Chinese government to 18 local projects in Thailand. This generous funding is being dispensed under the 2021 Mekong-Lancang Cooperation Special Fund (MLCSF), as revealed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).

A total of 106 projects were put forth for consideration by government bodies and educational institutions. However, only 18 were approved for funding, as stated by Busadee Santipitaks, the MFA’s acting permanent secretary.

The approved projects are all geared towards enhancing the living conditions of the Thai people, including those residing within the Mekong sub-region. The projects span across various sectors such as sustainable development, agriculture, food safety, and environmental protection. Additionally, some projects aim to speed up the economic recovery in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Among the 18 successful projects, 13 were proposed by the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation. The remaining five projects were individually submitted by the Public Health Ministry, the Industry Ministry, the Commerce Ministry, the Interior Ministry and the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry.

Notable project titles include Prospect Supply Chain for Small Battery Electric Vehicle in Lancang-Mekong Region, Strengthening the Cooperation of Traditional and Indigenous Medicine in Response to Covid-19 Pandemic in the Greater Mekong Basin and Reviving Cultural Heritage Tourism Route from Yunnan to Highland Southeast Asia.

The project selection process was carried out by the Chinese embassy in Thailand, the Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Chinese Finance Ministry.

Busadee Santipitaks further revealed that the MLCSF this year is supporting 112 projects across six countries. These include 53 projects from China, 18 from Thailand, 14 from Myanmar, 12 from Laos, nine from Cambodia, and six from Vietnam.

From 2017 to 2023, Thailand has received approximately 748 million baht from the MLCSF.

Han Zhiqiang, the Chinese Ambassador to Thailand, stated that over 700 projects have been implemented in the Mekong River basin, with successful outcomes in various fields such as economic development. These projects have also led to improvements in income protection, water resource usage, law enforcement, and cultural exchanges, reported Bangkok Post.

“Next year, China and Thailand will celebrate the 50th anniversary of their bilateral relations,” Han Zhiqiang said. “We are willing to work with Thailand to implement the important consensus reached by the two countries’ leaders, and to celebrate building the China-Thailand community with a shared future for enhanced stability, prosperity, and sustainability,” he concluded.

Thailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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