Hainan mini-FTA deepens trade with China

Seasonal Thai fruits are expected to be boosted by the trade deal with China.

The government is optimistic about the trade prospects with China after the deepening of the partnerships via “mini-FTA” signed with the province of Hainan at the end of August.

Thai authorities are eager to sign similar partnerships with other Chinese provinces to increase trade with the country.

Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit said that following the first free trade agreement with a Chinese province, the ministry plans to organize online business merging activities between Thailand and Hainan at the end. from 2021.

Next year, the ministry plans to hold a trade fair showcasing world-class Thai brands at the Hainan Expo for the second year in a row, focusing on promoting health and wellness products and services. such as Thai massage, spa, beauty products, herbal products and holistic health services.

The Chinese government recently declared Hainan a free trade port, linking it to the Belt and Road Initiative countries to encourage trade activities there.

Hainan is the smallest province in southern China and a strategic point connecting the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Great Bay region with Southeast Asia along the “Sea Silk Road”.

Bilateral trade between Thailand and Hainan Province reached 3.62 billion baht in the first half of this year, with exports amounting to 2.48 billion baht and imports 1.14 billion.

“The ministry wants to sign mini-FTAs with other Chinese provinces like Gansu in the north, which is predominantly Muslim, which makes it a good compromise for Thai halal products,” Jurin said.

Under the partnership agreement, the collaboration between Thailand and Hainan covers five main areas. These five areas include cooperation in information exchange and measures to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) such as investment and the establishment of trade representatives; promotion of trade relations and reinforcement of creativity and innovation of SMEs through product development, widening of opportunities in third markets; facilitation of business activities by means of seminars, trade shows, business combinations and business delegations; expansion of the volume of trade in agricultural, food and industrial products; and promoting e-commerce and online business matching.

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