BANGKOK – The new President of the Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Narongsak Puttapornmongkol, is promoting a policy supporting joint investment, connecting the Belt and Road Initiative and the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC). He has expressed confidence that Chinese investment in Thailand will grow, as the chamber is preparing measures to aid businesses impacted by the new coronavirus.
The 27th Chairman of the Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, said today that he intends to elevate relations between the two countries, especially in terms of trade and investment, and wants to link the EEC in Thailand and China’s BRI. Mr. Narongsak said he will support investment through Chinese small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and voiced confidence investment by China in Thailand will increase this year, noting his chamber will discuss clarification of foreign investment regulations with the government.
On the impact of the coronavirus, Mr. Narongsak said the epidemic will weigh on the Thai economy during the first two quarters, especially on the tourism sector. One in four travelers to Thailand is from China, or about 42 million people. Nonetheless, he said Thailand will be able to handle the situation, pointing out infection rates in the kingdom have already begun to drop. He believes however, that it will take three to four months to fully recover from the effects of the virus.
Despite China being Thailand’s second largest destination for exports, accounting for 904 billion baht in 2019, or 11.8% of total export value, Mr. Narongsak said the coronavirus will have little impact. He also believes the tourism sector will recover quickly from this situation.
The chamber is now preparing measures to aid businesses impacted by the virus and is coordinating with exporters with stock pending export, so that shipments can be made to China. New markets are also being sought to further aid operators.