Chinese investment has been increasing in Thailand as both economies find benefits from working with each other. Julie Noce reports.
For factory workers in Thailand, more and more of the products they make are being sent to China. The two countries have been developing diplomatic, military and business ties over the last few years that benefit both economies. China's push to invest in foreign manufacturing and Thailand's cheap labor are part of the appeal. For JAHOW GAH-NG Zhao Gang, Chairman of the GAH-NG YEN Gang Yan Diamond Tools company, there are still more perks. Thailand's culture is similar to China's, he said. Thailand is a Buddhist country, and China has a lot of Buddhists. I myself am a Buddhist. In Thailand, where exports and domestic demand have been stalled since the coup in 2014, incoming Chinese investment is most welcomed. Is Thailand's political turmoil a concern for the Chinese? Yes and no. When we first came, yes we were concerned, Zhao said. But what' s more important is to have an emergency plan to protest our staff, and we have that in place. Last year, China was the fourth biggest foreign investor in Thailand, behind Japan, the United States and Singapore.