ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
China's trade links with Asean and Thailand
Next year China will begin implementing its 12th five-year economic development plan, which will accelerate the shifting of its growth model to one more reliant on domestic consumption. But the sheer magnitude of China's trade with Asean - and willingness to share its prosperity with its neighbours - means its role in the region will surely increase.
Starting in early 2010, China slashed tariffs for imported goods from 10 Asean countries to zero. In the first half of this year, China's trade volume with Asean countries passed US$100 billion, an increase of 58 percent from the same period last year.
All this development in Asean countries calls for increased investment in infrastructure, which is why China recently set up the China-Asean fund to finance infrastructure development. China Investment Corporation, China's sovereign wealth fund, has invested in the fund, and plans to increase its commitment.
In the first 10 months of this year, exports from Thailand to mainland China topped $17.39 billion, increasing by 38 percent year-on-year. China was Thailand's biggest export destination, accounting for 11 percent of exports, while Thailand imported $19.75 billion worth of goods from China, up 45 percent year-on-year, making China Thailand's second biggest source of imports after Japan.
Direct investment from China to Thailand at the end of 2009 exceeded $1 billion and there is still much room for further increases.
Realised direct investment from Thailand to China reached $3.25 billion, while major Thai enterprises which entered China a long time ago, such as Bangkok Bank and CP Group, have seen their businesses thrive.
China, as the dominant economic force in the region, will continue to work closely with its neighbors to expand this integrated market.
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