Prayut invites Chinese businesses to invest in EEC
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has invited Chinese to invest in Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), saying it has the potential to become a hub for them in the region.
Prayut extended the invitation through Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who paid a courtesy call on Government House on Tuesday as part of his two-day visit.
According to a summary of the meeting provided by government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, Prayut told Wang Yi the EEC has logistics networks linking other countries in the region and the corridor has the potential to help Chinese industries, especially in electric vehicle manufacturing and agriculture.
The prime minister also thanked Beijing for facilitating Thai exports of agricultural products and speeding up the clearance process for importing food from Thailand.
Prayut noted that bilateral trade between the two countries from January to April expanded by 20 per cent compared to the same period last year.
During the meeting, the two sides pledged to follow up on the project to build a high-speed railway linking Thailand to China via Laos.
Wang Yi said the railway would promote the transportation of goods and tourism between the two countries.
Prayut pledged full support for the project to ensure its construction is completed “on schedule”.
The PM also expressed thanks to China for allowing Thai commercial flights to return to that country, making it possible for Thai students to resume their studies there.
Wang Yi replied that China would allow even more flights after the Covid-19 situation in his country improves, while Beijing would support travel between the two countries.
The Chinese foreign minister also pledged support for Thailand’s hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in November.
Prayut said Thailand needed China’s help to support economic cooperation in the region following a series of uncertainties in the world economy. Wang Yi promised that President Xi Jinping would attend the Apec summit.
The prime minister went on to thank Beijing for its support until the Covid-19 situation in Thailand improved.
He meanwhile expressed concern over the flooding in southern China and hoped the situation would ease soon.
Thanakorn said Prayut sent best wishes to Xi and Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang.
The spokesman said Prayut also congratulated the two countries for warm bilateral ties on the occasion of the tenth anniversary this year of the comprehensive strategic partnership.
Thanakorn quoted Prayut as affirming that Thailand is ready to develop the partnership for another decade.
Furthermore, the two leaders agreed in principle to foster ties to mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties in 2025.
Wang Yi told Prayut relations between the two countries have always remained warm because Xi and the Thai prime minister have a "good understanding toward each other".
On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the comprehensive partnership, the two nations must plan future cooperation for joint prosperity and sustainability, Thanakorn quoted Wang Yi as saying.
The spokesman said Prayut ended his discussion with a Chinese proverb, “Qixin xieli shishi shunli”, meaning if the two countries are united, all problems can be solved and even a mountain can be moved.