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Guangdong on the Road | Thailand: green engines in the silk road

Thailand is the most extensive automotive manufacturing base in ASEAN and is committed to establishing the "Detroit of the East" as its automotive industry development goal. In 2021, Thailand announced its "30/30 policy", that is, thirty percent of all vehicles made in Thailand will be electric by 2030.

"Public acceptance of electric vehicles is also very high in Thailand, and now the main consumer groups are the middle class," said Huang Yongjie, Chairman of Gold Integrate which is one of ’the leading new energy vehicle distributors in Thailand.

In the interview with GDToday, Huang revealed that Thai consumers prefer NEVs when buying their second car because they are viewed as fashionable, which reflects the current trend in the Thai automotive market.

So, what concerns Thai consumers the most? According to a salesperson working at an auto shop in downtown Bangkok, many customers worry about battery-related issues such as durability and safety. These are the strengths of Guangdong's NEV manufacturers.

Leading Guangdong-based NEV manufacturers like BYD and GAC Group have entered the Thai market. In September 2022, BYD announced its partnership with Thailand's WHA Corporation to establish its first fully-owned passenger car factory overseas in the WHA Industrial Estate, Rayong Province, located in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC). The factory is planned to commence production in 2024.

GAC Aion also began its foray into the Thai market this September. They have already made plans for their new factory in Thailand and expect to start production next September. "Our technologies about the battery, motor, and electronic control could be brought into Thailand. Our corresponding suppliers, corresponding subsidiaries in GAC, and battery companies have made field trips to Thailand," Ocean Ma, Managing Director of GAC AION THAILAND, told GDToday.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative. In October 2023, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced eight major steps China will take to support high-quality Belt and Road cooperation. Among them, China will promote green development, deepening cooperation in green infrastructure, green energy, and green transportation.

Under the framework of the BRI, Guangdong, and Thailand have been strengthening cooperation in various fields. In June, Governor Wang Weizhong stated during his visit to Thailand that Guangdong would promote coordinated development between the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) and Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor. They aim to actively expand cooperation in trade and investment, industrial park construction, and green energy, making more significant contributions to building a community with a shared future between China and Thailand in the new era.

In this episode, GDToday reporters, in collaboration with Thailand MONO Broadcasting Company, followed the journey of NEVs manufactured in Guangdong and delved into Thailand's automobile industry, documenting how Guangdong-based NEV manufacturers are integrating into the local supply chain, collaborating to promote green energy and sustainable transportation, and fostering consensus on green development under BRI.

About the Guangdong on the Road series

As 2023 marks the 10th anniversary of the BRI, GDToday, the leading Guangdong-based multilingual news provider, has recently joined hands with major media outlets in 10 countries and visited the United Arab Emirates, Laos, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Nigeria, South Africa, Greece, Fiji, and Vanuatu, reporting on the Guangdong on the Road series.

The series report will include multilingual videos and articles, documenting the cooperation between Guangdong, the economic powerhouse of China, and the BRI participating countries.

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Producer | Hou Xiaojun

Executive producers | Jin Qiang, Zhang Chunqing

Chief planner | Zhao Yang

Planners | Xie Miaofeng, Zhang Ying, Ouyang Yan

Reporters | Hu Nan, Xu Xiaoxin, Zhang Tianxiong

Graphic designers | Ou Xiaoming, Huo Weilu

Editors | Olivia, James

Parts of the video footage were contributed by Thailand's Eastern Economic Corridor Office, Leam Chabang Port and GAC AION.

He Yixin, Zeng Xiangxing and Liu Yi contributed to the story.

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