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Friday, 2 August 2019, 15:00 HKT/SGT
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Source: HKTDC
HKTDC Chairman leads business mission to Bangkok
Meeting with Thai Deputy Prime Minister explores Mainland China-Thailand-Hong Kong cooperation opportunities

HONG KONG, Aug 2, 2019 - (ACN Newswire) - Dr Peter K N Lam, the new Chairman of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), led a Hong Kong business mission to Bangkok, Thailand last week to discuss with Thai government and business leaders the opportunities presented by closer cooperation between Mainland China, Thailand and Hong Kong. The mission, Dr Lam's first as HKTDC Chairman, explored in particular cooperation opportunities in trade, manufacturing, investment and services under the Belt and Road Initiative and the Thailand 4.0 economic programme. It also examined ways that Thailand's Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) project and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area development plan can be aligned to strengthen connections between the mainland and ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries.


Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) Chairman Dr Peter K N Lam (L) led a business delegation to Thailand last week and paid a visit to Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand Somkid Jatusripitak (R).


The delegation comprised some 20 Hong Kong business representatives from sectors including finance, architectural design, engineering consultancy, manufacturing and trade. They met with Thai government officials and business leaders to explore cooperation opportunities in trade, manufacturing, investment and services.


The delegation met with Dhanin Chearavanont (front row, 6th from R), Senior Chairman of CP Group, to learn about the company's urban development and high-speed railway projects along Thailand's Eastern Economic Corridor. They also explored ways to facilitate cooperation in investment and development projects related to the Belt and Road Initiative.


The mission, organised by the HKTDC, comprised Denis Yip, Commissioner for Belt and Road of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government, and some 20 Hong Kong business representatives from sectors including finance, architecture, engineering consultancy, manufacturing and trade.

High-level talks to strengthen cooperation

During their 24-26 July visit to Bangkok, the delegation called on Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand Somkid Jatusripitak, who gave a keynote speech at last year's Belt and Road Summit in Hong Kong. In the meeting, there was an exchange of views on how best to align the Thailand 4.0 and EEC projects with China's Belt and Road Initiative and Greater Bay Area development. There were also discussions on how to leverage Hong Kong's advantages in finance, trade and talent to facilitate cooperation between Thailand, the mainland and Hong Kong. The meeting laid a good foundation for future communication, collaboration and the establishment of a specific cooperation framework among the three parties.

Delegates also had a luncheon meeting with China's Ambassador to Thailand, Lyu Jian, at which they gained a better understanding of mainland enterprises' investment and trade activities in Thailand.

HKTDC Chairman Dr Peter K N Lam said: "Thailand has long been an important ASEAN trading partner for Hong Kong. We learnt from our mission that the Thai government's 'Thailand 4.0' blueprint and EEC project complement the Belt and Road Initiative and Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area development plan, and that Thailand welcomes international and mainland investors while also bringing new opportunities for Hong Kong companies, especially in areas related to infrastructure, technology and industrial parks. Hong Kong enterprises are keen to participate in developments that can help them diversify their production bases and overseas markets."

Dr Lam also said: "In a business environment fraught with uncertainties, enterprises must explore ways to lower their risks and develop new markets. The HKTDC hopes to facilitate cooperation with Thai businesses and strengthen our business-matching work through our Bangkok office and 50 offices around the world to help companies get through this challenging time."

EEC and Greater Bay Area

The delegation also met with Luxmon Attapich, Deputy Secretary General of the Eastern Economic Corridor Office (EECO), Chokedee Kaewsang, Deputy Secretary General of the Board of Investment of Thailand (BOI), and Krittayaporn Dabbhadatta, Deputy Governor of the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) to learn about the latest developments in Thailand as well as the investment and tax incentives offered in the EEC and various industrial estates. They also discussed cooperation opportunities in financing, technology and innovation such as the development of smart cities in these projects. Another topic that came up in discussions was connecting the Greater Bay Area with Thailand's EEC, linking up the two huge markets of ASEAN and China to help turbocharge economic activity in the region.

Creating tripartite cooperation opportunities

The delegation also met with a number of Thai business leaders including Dhanin Chearavanont, Senior Chairman of CP Group; Vikrom Kromadit, Chairman of Amata Group, the largest industrial estate developer in Thailand; and Kavin Kanjanapas, CEO and Managing Director of BTS Group. The meetings explored how Hong Kong, through its expertise in financing and professional services, can connect mainland and international investors and support the urban development of the EEC and Bangkok through such projects as high-speed railways, industrial parks and smart cities. This will help to create opportunities for mainland and Hong Kong enterprises, including manufacturers as well as technology and professional services providers.

Thailand: an important ASEAN partner for the mainland and Hong Kong

As a major country in the ASEAN bloc, Thailand's economy has long been driven by strong domestic demand. The Sino-United States trade dispute resulted in a significant growth in Thailand's exports last year. In an effort to attract more overseas investors, Thailand is now opening up more sectors for overseas investment, including next-generation automobile production, smart electronics, medical and health tourism, agricultural technology, biotechnology and the food business. These developments will in turn bring opportunities for sectors related to talent training, professional services and related areas. Current investment hotspots include robotics, aviation, logistics, biofuel and biochemistry, technology and healthcare services.

Thailand is one of Hong Kong's most important trading partners in the ASEAN region. Last year, Hong Kong's exports to Thailand were valued at HK$60.6 billion, up 12% from the year before. With the commitments made by the two economies under the Hong Kong-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement and related Investment Agreement coming into force in June, trade and investment between Hong Kong and Thailand have been given a further boost through enhanced legal protection and better market access. Mainland China, being Thailand's second-largest export market and largest import origin, is currently Thailand's largest trading partner.

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About HKTDC

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body established in 1966 to promote, assist and develop Hong Kong's trade. With 50 offices globally, including 13 in Mainland China, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a two-way global investment and business hub. The HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to create business opportunities for companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in the mainland and international markets. The HKTDC also provides up-to-date market insights and product information via trade publications, research reports and digital news channels. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com/aboutus. Follow us on Twitter @hktdc and LinkedIn.

Contact:
Vince Lung, Tel: +852 2584 4341, Email: [email protected]


Source: HKTDC

Topic: Press release summary
Sectors: Daily Finance, Daily News, Local Business
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