As part of a policy to promote stronger economic cooperation with its neighbors, China has launched a series of trade exhibitions across South East Asia.
This traditional tea ceremony promoting a refining company — one of more than a hundred Chinese businesses exhibiting at a China-Thailand trade fair in Bangkok.
“We want to sell our tea in Thailand and we want to show Thai people the Chinese tea drinking culture,” said Lan Liu Sha, from Fujincha Tea Company.
Trade between China and Thailand was worth $65 billion in 2013 — a figure both countries want to see increase.
“Actually by 2020 we really want the imports and exports between China and Thailand to reach $100 billion,” said Wang Lei, secretary-general of China-Asean Expo Secretariat.
This Chinese construction company is already operating in Thailand but hopes to expand.
“The construction market is big here. I think in three to five years our business will double,” said Lawson Lao, business manager of Guangxi Construction.
Thai companies are exhibiting too. This bedding manufacturer already exports 70 percent of its production to China.
“Chinese people are more and more interested in health. Thailand produces lots of natural products like our latex pillow, which is ideal for the Chinese market,” said Chutinan Phitthaphapong, from Yok International.
Two years ago China overtook Japan as Thailand’s biggest trading partner. And this year marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Thailand. It’s a relationship which continues to grow, both diplomatically and commercially.
This is the first of a series of trade exhibitions across ASEAN countries. The next will be in Indonesia in May.