Thai Businesses Concerned About Agricultural Sector Following Laos-China Railway Opening

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Thai durians arrive in China.
Thai durians arrive in China (Pattaya Mail).

The Thai Chamber of Commerce has raised concerns that the Laos-China Railway could hurt Thailand’s agricultural economy and the competitiveness of its businesses.

The chamber expressed fears that the Nong Khai border with Thailand could become a gateway for Chinese fruits and vegetables which would flood the market in Thailand.

The Nation reports that Thailand’s Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry is in talks with its counterpart in China to find a solution, hoping for a balance for Sino-Thai trade.

Thailand hopes to export orchids and rubber to China via the new railway, while fruit exports will be up for discussion next year.

But Thai businesses are at a disadvantage, according to analysts.

Thai national strategy and defense expert, Dr. Chaiyasit Tantayakul, says in the first nine months of 2021, Thai exports to China were worth BHT 184.49 billion, while imports from China reached BHT 454.89 billion.

Thailand’s total imports from China in the first nine months stood at BHT 1.7 trillion.