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China, Thailand target $100bn bilateral trade
May 2, 2013, 9:31 am


Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra (right) meets with Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi in Bangkok, Thailand [Xinhua]

Visiting Chinese foreign minster Wang Yi on Wednesday praised Thailand for playing a ” unique and significant” role in promoting relations between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Thailand and China agreed to increase bilateral trade to $100 billion by 2015 during Wang’s visit to Bangkok.

During his meeting with Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Wang said the “unique” Sino-Thai relationship will play an “exemplary” role in the development of China’s relations with ASEAN.

Thailand is the country coordinator of China-ASEAN relations.

Bilateral trade between China and Thailand stood at nearly $70 billion last year.

Yingluck said her country is willing to deepen comprehensive cooperation with China, by increasing political communication and maintaining the momentum of strong growth in bilateral trade.

Defence, water management, railway, new energy and education are some of the key areas that Sino-Thai governments should focus on, the Chinese foreign minister asserted.

ASEAN countries are the first destination of Wang’s official visit as foreign minister.

“It showcases that China’s new leadership highly values its relations with ASEAN,” he said.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the China-Asean strategic partnership.

The China-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade negotiations will begin in May in Brunei, with a view to completing them by the end of 2015.

ASEAN leaders looked forward to the starting of the RCEP negotiations, and broadening and deepening existing ASEAN+1 Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), asserted Brunei’s Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah last month.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies