October 27, 2022
BANGKOK – The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) and the Thai Chamber of Commerce (TCC) welcomed Xi Jinping retaining the post of Chinse president for a third term, saying it would lead to a continuity in policies that would benefit Thai businesses.
The positive reactions were expressed by FTI president Kriengkrai Thiennukul and TCC chairman Sanan Angubolkul.
Xi was confirmed as leader for a third term after a week-long meeting of the ruling Chinese Communist Party strengthened his political hand.
Kriengkrai said Xi would continue to bring about stability in China’s foreign and economic policies.
The FTI chief said only aged administrators in the Chinese government were replaced.
He said with Xi continuing to lead China, the Asian superpower would become the globe’s technology leader by 2035.
Thailand expects Beijing to ease its anti-Covid measures next month and to see Chinese tourists return late this year, but reports have it that the Communist government would continue its stringent Zero-Covid policy until March, Kriengkrai said.
The FTI president added that Xi’s continued leadership and the on-going trade war between China and the United States would continue to benefit Thailand.
The trade war has prompted Chinese investors to seek new manufacturing bases, especially in Southeast Asia, Kriengkrai said.
“This was reflected in the ratio of foreign direct investments, which showed China was top on the list of foreign investors in the kingdom,” he noted.
Once Beijing eases its Zero-Covid policy, more Chinese investors would travel to Thailand, Kriengkrai believed.
He said Chinese tended to invest in electrical vehicle manufacturing and high-tech industries in the kingdom.
“Thailand remains the top choice for Chinese investors because of good ties between the two countries. Chinese investors love the investment environment in Thailand and we believe more investments will flow from China into Thailand, but it would also depend on the geopolitical situation between China and the US,” Kriengkrai hastened to add.
Sanan said he believed Xi retaining the leadership would benefit both Chinese and Thai economies because China would continue its trade, investment and tourism policies.
Thailand would benefit from a Chinese recovery and this would play a part in helping the Thai economy expand by at least 4 per cent, Sanan said.
He noted that China’s economy had been growing at the rate of between 6 and 9 per cent, but dropped to 2 per cent because of its Zero-Covid policy. Yet the policy was still positive because it showed Beijing was serious about controlling the outbreak.
Sanan said the TCC expects more than 5 million Chinese tourists to return to Thailand next year once that country fully reopens.
Chinese are the biggest group who have invested in Thailand with several big corporations investing in the kingdom, Sanan pointed out.
For example, he said, BYD decided to invest in EV manufacturing in Thailand and several other Chinese firms, including medical equipment manufacturers, will use Thailand as a supply chain.
Sanan added that the Thai government has improved the law to make it more convenient for foreign investors to buy land so that they can use the kingdom as a strategic area linking other Asean countries.