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China to finance Thailand's basic infrastructure development


July 1, 2008

China to finance Thailand's basic infrastructure development
Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao on Monday expressed his gratitude to the Thai people for their assistance to victims of the recent strong earthquake in Chendu and pledged to give financial support of $400 million (about 13.2 billion baht) for development of Thailand's basic infrastructure, particularly electric mass-transit rail routes.

The Chinese premier made the gesture of goodwill in a one-hour discussion with his Thai counterpart Samak Sundaravej, who is making a 4-day official visit to China June 30 and July 3, according to the TNA reporter accompanying the Samak-led delegation.

Wen affirmed that Chinese people had greatly appreciated the assistance of Thailand's royal family and the public gave to the earthquake victims in Chendu.

Thailand Hotel
The responses showed that Thailand and China had close relations all along. Both countries are marking the 33rd anniversary of diplomatic ties on July 1. Also raised for discussion is a plan to welcome Thailand's Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, who will join the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games on August 8.

In addition, the Chinese leader proposed further Sino-Thai bilateral cooperation in trade and exchanged visits by public figures under the action plans for the development of relations of both countries.

It is expected that the value of Sino-Thai trade will surpass $50 billion or Bt165 billion in 2010. Beijing will encourage companies with growth potential to provide loans of $400 million to finance the implementation of Thailand's electric mass transit routes for metropolitan Bangkok.

China will also boost bilateral relations in the areas of education and culture, and finance the planned construction of a Sino-Thai Cultural Centre.

The Thai premier invited the Chinese business community to invest in Thailand, particularly to play a role in the development of public utilities and support facilities for the Bangkok's underground and elevate electric rail route construction.

He said Thailand was ready to give support if Chinese firms enter into joint ventures with Thai counterparts. Samak expressed his thanks for Beijing's financial support for development of Thailand's basic infrastructure and invited the Chinese premier to visit Thailand later this year.

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