Thailand outlined plans to build what it has dubbed "Thai City" in Xiamen on Feb 18. The country's commercial consul of the Royal Thai Consulate General in Xiamen, Maleerat Tiparugwong, made the announcement at a joint meeting of overseas economic and trade organizations in Xiamen.
The project will be built in Xiamen's Huli district besides Fanghu passenger depot and receive investment from both Chinese and Thailand financers.
According to proposed plans, 20,000-square-meters of old factories belonging to a Thai investor will be renovated to form Thai City. The six-floor facility will house retail stores, hotels, hospitality businesses and medical care services. Authentic products made in Thailand will be sold on site.
The project's Thai partner will be responsible for its operation to ensure a consumer experience resembling one that would typically be found in Thailand.
Seventy percent of the preparation works has been completed and a delegation of Thai enterprises will be invited to Xiamen to observe the business environment in the city between March and April. The official operation is projected to start in June.
Xiamen is a coastal city in the southeast China and is a regional aviation and shipping hub. The city has seen foreign trade growing, having benefited from the implementation of preferential policies, infrastructure facilities related to global investment, and the establishment of the free trade zone in early 2015.
Close economic, educational and cultural ties between Xiamen and Thailand are thought to have influenced the decision for Thai authorities to settle the project in the city.
The export and import volume between Xiamen and Thailand reached 1.97 billion yuan in 2015, up 53.17 percent from the previous year.
Boasting abundance of beautiful natural sceneries and rich culture, numbers of Chinese visitors to the country have shot up in recent years. Statistics show that 7.93 million Chinese tourists visited Thailand in 2015, nearly doubling the amount recorded in 2014.
Xiamen attracted 60 million domestic and foreign visitors last year. A proportion of them visited the city as a stopover en route to Thailand.
Edited by Jacob Hooson