APD | Thai Ambassador to China: We Should Learn from China



By APD writer Muyou

Thailand has long hoped to join hands with China to develop new energy and digital markets in Southeast Asia, which could take the bilateral cooperation to a new level.

According to the South China Morning Post, Arthayudh Srisamoot, Thai Ambassador to China, said that the Thai government is focusing on emerging industries and innovative products, seeking to co-invest with Chinese companies in wind turbines, hydropower dams and solar power plants in countries such as Laos and Vietnam, and he specifically pointed to the potential of cooperation with China's Greater Bay Area since the area is a key growth engine for southern China and a base for new energy and digital development. "This will be an example of Chinese businessmen and Thai businessmen helping third countries in the field of new energy," Srisamoot said at a global talent summit held in Macau.

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Chinese manufacturers have built many factories in Southeast Asia, a region of 660 million people, and many Chinese technology companies have expanded their market presence in the region. In the first four months of this year, ASEAN was China's top export destination, overtaking the United States and the European Union. Thailand, the second largest economy in ASEAN, has been a favorite spot for Chinese tourists and a major source for China to import rice and tropical fruits. At the same time, Thailand is also an important partner of China in developing the trans-Asian high-speed railway network.

"I think creative and new industries are quite prominent right now," Srisamoot said. An International Energy Agency report last year said ASEAN member states' transition to sustainable energy could provide greater business opportunities for the emerging clean energy economy.

"Thais currently rely mainly on cash and credit card payments, which makes it a more traditional country. I think Southeast Asian countries are a bit more traditional, and if you go to Indonesia, Laos and Cambodia, you will find that they still don't know the digital lifestyle. There is a lot to learn from China in terms of making the most of digital concepts," Srisamoot said.

According to a World Bank report published on May 16, Thailand's innovative technology is hampered by a shortage of talent, a weak scientific production and a limited access to financing, and all of which are hampering the growth of small and medium enterprises.

Srisamoot also pointed out that Thailand’s connection with China is not only embodied in the digital or creative industries, but also in the agriculture industry.