Rayong is located more than 100 kilometers southeast of Bangkok, the capital of Thailand. It is the core area of the “Eastern Economic Corridor” that the Thai government is working hard to create. The Thai-Chinese Rayong Industrial Park (Rayong Industrial Park for short) is located in it. As one of China’s first overseas economic and trade cooperation zones and an important carrier of China-Thailand “One Belt One Road” capacity cooperation, Rayong Industrial Park has attracted more than 150 enterprises to settle in, created more than 30,000 jobs, and achieved a cumulative industrial output value of more than 16 billion Dollar.
“Inject momentum into local economic and social development”
The sky is azure blue, and the office buildings and factories in Rayong Industrial Park are lined with greenery.
Rayong Industrial Park covers an area of 12 square kilometers. In recent years, more and more Chinese companies have invested in the park to set up factories, involving photovoltaic, auto parts, building materials and other industries, not only creating a large number of jobs, but also bringing advanced technology.
Zhongce Rubber (Thailand) Co., Ltd. is one of the largest enterprises in Rayong Industrial Park. Since the company started production in 2015, it has produced approximately 13.31 million sets of various tires annually. The products are sold to more than 50 countries and regions including the United States and Brazil. In 2019, it achieved total sales of US$584 million.
In Rayong Industrial Park, there are more than 20 enterprises in the tire industry chain alone, and the scale of industrial clusters is beginning to appear. “After leading enterprises in the industry entered the industrial park, the upstream and downstream enterprises of the industrial chain followed closely, gradually formed an industrial ecosystem, and built a relatively complete industrial closed loop. Many Chinese companies followed us into the industrial park to provide equipment maintenance, raw material supply and other services .” said Chen Hua, general manager of China Strategic Rubber (Thailand) Co., Ltd.
Chinese new technology and new material companies settled in the park, filling the gaps in related industries in Thailand in some areas. At the center of the third phase of the industrial park, Dingheng New Materials Co., Ltd. has just completed its 50,000 square meter plant. With an investment of 120 million US dollars, the factory can produce 80,000 tons of aluminum foil with specifications ranging from 5 microns to 2 mm per year.
In the factory’s operating room, Chinese technicians are teaching local employees to operate the rolling mill for cutting aluminum foil. “There is no corresponding technical type of work in the local area. We require each Chinese technician to train a main operator in 3 months.” said Hu Wenqian, general manager of Dingheng New Materials.
Many companies in the Rayong Industrial Park have achieved localized management, and Chinese personnel account for only about 10%, providing opportunities for local residents to find employment and improve their lives. Nadavi came from a rural village in Songkhla. After joining Zhongce Rubber (Thailand) Co., Ltd., she started as an ordinary employee, and through training, she has now been promoted to deputy head of the department. With the continuous increase in income, the living standards of Nadavi’s family have been greatly improved.
Weigong, president of Amata Group, a well-known industrial park developer in Thailand, said: “The Rayong Industrial Park has effectively stimulated employment, created huge foreign exchange, and injected impetus into the local economic and social development.”
“Active resumption of work and production guarantees employees’ income”
During the epidemic prevention and control period, the machines in the Rayong Industrial Park were still roaring constantly, the production line was running at high speed, and various productions were running steadily.
Xintai Wheel Company has established a factory for nearly 10 years. Under strict epidemic prevention measures, the factory strives to ensure that all tasks are carried out in an orderly manner. “The epidemic has had a great impact on the raw material supply and product exports of the factory. The company once suspended production twice, but soon restarted production. The order has now recovered 70% and it is expected to be fully restored by the end of the year.” Assistant General Manager of Xintai Wheel Company Sa’a said: “As the global epidemic is not over, Chinese companies in the park actively resume work and production to ensure the income of their employees and contribute to the recovery of the local economy.”
The epidemic has had a major impact on the production of Zhongce Rubber (Thailand) Co., Ltd., but the company did not lay off employees, and maintained low-cost operations by increasing revenue and reducing expenditure. Especially in the past two months, the factory has resumed production at full capacity. “The company has formulated a product transfer plan to shift the market to Southeast Asia, Africa and other places. It is currently developing products for new markets. The third phase of the plant is under construction and is expected to be put into operation by the end of the year.” Chen Hua said: “Chinese companies are against the trend. The above shows the strength. We are full of confidence in the future.”
At the beginning of 2020, Rayong Industrial Park welcomed General Rubber (Thailand) Co., Ltd. The company is built by China Jiangsu General Technology Co., Ltd. with a direct investment of US$300 million and will create more than 1,500 jobs.
“In the first half of this year, there were more than 30 companies investing in expansion in the Rayong Industrial Park, including the expansion of new plants and the construction of new projects. In addition, three more companies signed an agreement to settle in.” said Zhao Bin, President of Rayong Industrial Park Development Co., Ltd. , In the Rayong Industrial Park, you can enjoy up to 8 years of corporate income tax relief and additional investment preferential policies in the “Eastern Economic Corridor”.
In May of this year, Atosa, located in the third phase of the industrial park, obtained the permit to start production and immediately entered the production stage. The company mainly produces high-end intelligent refrigeration products such as commercial refrigerators, pizza tables, and work tables exported to the United States. The production line has a production capacity of 300 units per shift, which has reached half of its production capacity. “Recently, we export 5 to 8 containers of products every day,” the company’s general manager Chen Jianming told reporters.
Atosa has completed the construction of a 30,000 square meter plant in the first phase, and a 20,000 square meter plant under construction in the second phase. “The company headquarters has completed product research and development reserves for Southeast Asia and other regions. We will further investigate new markets and gradually build a sales team for Southeast Asia to meet future market needs.” Chen Jianming said.
“Further help Thailand optimize its industrial structure”
The joint construction of the “Belt and Road” has strengthened the interconnection of infrastructure and logistics in the countries and regions along the route. China and Thailand strengthened the docking of development strategies, and Rayong Industrial Park entered the fast lane of development.
“China has a complete industrial chain gathering ecology, especially the manufacturing industry has obvious advantages.” Rayong Industrial Park senior consultant Xu Genluo told reporters, “Nowadays, more and more Chinese companies promote capacity cooperation through overseas industrial parks, which not only increases the supply chain Resilience also facilitates the development of overseas markets, reduces transportation costs, optimizes industrial layout, and balances regional economic development.”
As more Chinese companies move faster, the factory buildings in the Rayong Industrial Park are in short supply. “We are considering building a new park to allow Chinese companies to settle in Thailand more securely and securely to achieve sustainable development.” Zhao Bin said.
Thai Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu said that the Rayong Industrial Park has played a key role in promoting the economic and trade cooperation and people’s friendship between Thailand and China, and has made great contributions to Thailand’s economic development. “More and more Chinese companies settle in Thailand, which will further help Thailand optimize its industrial structure and improve its economic development.”
In the face of the new crown pneumonia epidemic and the uncertainty of the international situation, it is necessary for China and Thailand to work together to meet challenges, achieve complementary advantages, and promote cooperation in new economies and new business formats. “Chinese manufacturing companies have a lot of room for cooperation with Thailand in the communications, auto parts, electronics, new materials and other industries. I believe this will bring greater impetus to Thailand’s economic recovery after the epidemic,” said Ben Yong, vice chairman of the Thai Chinese Chamber of Commerce.
China has been Thailand’s largest trading partner for 7 consecutive years, and in 2019 it became Thailand’s largest source of foreign investment. Alaman, Director of the Office of International Trade Negotiations of Thailand, said that he believes that the bilateral economic and trade cooperation between Thailand and China will continue to deepen and further promote the “Eastern Economic Corridor” and the joint construction of the “Belt and Road” initiative and the construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. “I look forward to deepening comprehensive cooperation. To promote common development”.