Jiraporn Sudanich, Consul General of the Kingdom of Thailand in Guangzhou, highlighted at a recent interview with GDToday that the promotion of the strategic linkages between the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Great Bay Area (GBA) and the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) of Thailand, is at the heart of the Guangdong-Thailand relations.
The EEC covers three eastern provinces of Thailand including Rayong, Chonburi, and Chachoengsao and envisages economic transformation through a series of infrastructure construction and advantageous policies. The partnership between the GBA and EEC, which are respectively the key economic development areas of China and Thailand, has been a focal point of the bilateral ties in recent years.
“Thailand is thrilled to have witnessed a true testament of the GBA-EEC cooperation in 2022 as the Shenzhen-based auto enterprise, BYD, has settled a new plant in the EEC to press forward the EV production supply chain at both regional and global levels,” said Sudanich.
According to the previous report, the leading electric-car maker BYD signed a land purchase deal in September 2022 with WHA Corp, Thailand’s largest industrial-estates developer, to build its first electric vehicle (EV) production plant in Southeast Asia. The plant is expected to start operation in 2024 and will have an annual capacity of 150,000 vehicles, mostly for export to Southeast Asia and Europe.
In addition to the EV sector, Sudanich found the GBA-EEC cooperation has high-potential in such areas as electronics, medical and healthcare, all of which are critical to the high-quality development of the two area.
“We have been actively organizing online business-matching seminars between GBA and EEC despite the COVID-19 pandemic. We saw leading GBA enterprises including HUAWEI, BGI and EHANG exploring opportunities and working closely with related electronic, drone and medical sectors in Thailand,” said Sudanich.
As for the upcoming 2023, Sudanich said the Consulate looks forward to learning more about the GBA development plan and to working closely with its Guangdong counterparts on revitalizing the Thailand-Guangdong High-Level Cooperation Conference (HLCC) to create business link between GBA and EEC.
The HLCC is an intergovernmental platform on economic cooperation and connectivity between GBA and EEC. The first meeting of the HLCC agreed to strengthen cooperation in 6 priority areas including advanced manufacturing, trade and investment, agriculture, culture, tourism and healthcare, friendly exchanges between localities and other areas of cooperation such as clean energy, science, technology, and innovation, as well as in the financial and capital markets.
“I believe Guangdong and Thailand can battle the slowing global economy and emerge as winners in the post Covid-19 chapter that is nearly upon us. I am also keen to explore new areas of cooperation with our Guangdong counterparts with high potentials in the medical and healthcare industries. As there are numerous research centers in Guangdong, I believe we could form new partnership in this specialized field,” she said.
According to the Guangdong Department of Commerce, the bilateral trade volume between Guangdong and Thailand reached 171.99 billion RMB with an increase of 7.4 percent in 2020 despite the pandemic. The number continued to grow by 14.5 percent in the first half of 2021.
As for bilateral investment, Guangdong has absorbed 816 Thailand-invested project worth 720 million USD while Guangdong enterprises have invested 142 projects in Thailand with an investment volume of 590 million USD by the end of June 2021.