Meeting between Thai Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak and Chinese State Councilor Wang Yong (Source: bangkokpost.com)

Bangkok (VNA) - Thailand and China have agreed to double their bilateral trade to 120 billion USD in the next five years from an estimated 60 million USD at the end of this year.

The target was unveiled by Thai Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak after his meeting with visiting Chinese State Councilor Wang Yong on December 17.

Investments from China, particularly in railway projects, are expected to help strengthen the economic ties between two countries, the Thai Deputy Prime Minister was as saying by Vietnam News Agency correspondents.

Two-way trade is estimated to hit 60 billion USD this year and to 70 billion USD in 2016.

The same day, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) announced that Thai investors are allowed to pour up to 50 billion yuan (7.7 billion USD) in Chinese financial markets, aiming to bolster bilateral trade and investment.

According to the PBOC, qualified Thai investors will land investment under the Renminbi Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (RQFII) scheme, which allows financial institutions to use offshore yuan to purchase securities in mainland China.

The Bank of Thailand also issued a statement on the matter, regarding this as a milestone in the increasing trade and investment relations between Bangkok and Beijing.

State Councilor Wang Yong travelled to Thailand to attend the launching ceremony of the China-Thailand railway cooperation project scheduled on December 19 and co-host the 4th Meeting of the Thailand-China Joint Committee on Trade, Investment and Economic Cooperation with Thai Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak from December 16-20.

Two countries’ relations have seen stellar development in recent years. In 2013, China surpassed Japan to become Thailand’s largest trade partner. Thailand expects to welcome 10 million tourists from China in 2016 after reporting a record number of 7.9 million visitors this year.-VNA