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Thailand aims to lure Chinese investment
By Jiang Jingjing (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-08-26 06:13

Thailand is seeking the Chinese investment on almost every sector to help with strengthening its economic development, visiting Thai senior officials said yesterday in Beijing.

"Sectors such as construction, food processing, logistics, electronics and textile specially welcome the Chinese investors," said Somkid Jatusripitak, the vice-premier and minister of commerce of Thailand, in an economic promotion seminar.

He pointed out that Thailand holds an important strategic position in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations).

"We have abundant labour forces, solid bases of production technology and a large consumer market," he added. "Thailand, which is a manufacture centre in the ASEAN, is a bridge connecting the Chinese firms and other members in the ASEAN."

Somkid revealed that a giant infrastructure project worthy of 1 trillion Thai baht (US$24.32 billion) will be carried out in Thailand in the coming four to five years.

He encouraged large-scale Chinese enterprises to get actively involved in the project.

Chinese construction enterprises have advanced technology and sufficient capitals, and some of them have a long history of constructing both underground and above ground transportation systems, Somkid said.

The bilateral trade between China and Thailand posted at US$15 billion last year, and Somkid hopes the figure will reach US$40 billion in two years' time.

The vice-premier brought a business delegation of 15 famous Thai enterprises to attend the seminar. They include Krung Thai Bank, Thai Oil Pcl and Aapico Hitech Pcl.

Those companies aim to present a full picture of Thai economy to the Chinese companies, Somkid said.

The Stock Exchange of Thailand also sent officials to the seminar, hoping to attract Chinese companies to list there.

"Thai stock exchange is growing to be an international capital market with the development of 30 years," Somkid said.

There are more than 400 companies listed in the exchange, and they have achieved an average profit of 30 per cent last year, he continued.

There are so far no Chinese firms listed in Thai stock market.

Currently, about 200 Chinese enterprises conduct projects in Thailand, mainly focusing on construction, mining and electronics.

(China Daily 08/26/2005 page10)

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