Thai trade envoy spices up talks with Shanghai to stir-fry ties

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

In a significant move to bolster economic ties, Thai trade representative Narumon Pinyosinwat met with Zhao Zhuping, Deputy Secretary-General of the Shanghai municipal government yesterday. The discussion centred on expanding trade and investment between Thailand and Shanghai.

“Chinese investors sought the highest number of investment privileges from the Thai government last year.”

Narumon noted that 430 projects valued at 160 billion baht marked a two-fold increase from the previous year. This impressive figure represented 24% of all foreign direct investment (FDI) in Thailand.

The Yangtze River Delta (YRD) economic zone showed particular interest, with businesses seeking Board of Investment approval for 113 projects worth 163 billion baht.

Narumon highlighted the strong trade relationship between the two nations, with China being Thailand’s top trade partner for 11 consecutive years. Last year’s bilateral trade was valued at a staggering US$135 billion (approximately 4.93 trillion). Thailand imported US$105 billion and exported US$69 billion worth of goods and services.

Trade with Shanghai-based businesses alone was worth US$12 billion, while the YRD economic zone accounted for an additional US$48.8 billion. Thailand’s primary exports to China included integrated circuits, polyethylene, synthetic rubber, automatic data processing machines, and fresh fruit. Key imports comprised cordless WiFi IP phones, vehicles, integrated circuits, transformers, inductors, and steel sheet products.

The agricultural sector saw substantial growth, with Shanghai importing 365,665 tonnes of Thai agricultural products worth US$603 million last year. This marked a 9% increase in volume and an 11% rise in value from 2022. Top imports included fruits, rubber, fishery products, tapioca starch, and chicken products.

Furthermore, the YRD economic zone imported 3.28 million tonnes of Thai agricultural products worth US$2.76 billion, reported Bangkok Post.

“The Shanghai Municipal Government is ready to boost the partnership, trade, and investment sustainably between Shanghai and the Thai government.”

Narumon noted that next year will mark the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Thailand and China.

In related news, Shanghai’s Super Brand Mall buzzed with excitement as the much-anticipated Thai Festival 2024, themed Trendy Thai, kicked off on Friday, May 10. During the opening ceremony, Prinat Apirat, Thailand’s Consul General in Shanghai stated that the festival serves as a bridge connecting rich cultures and peoples, fostering mutual understanding, appreciation, and an enduring friendship.

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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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