The Southwestern China market is increasingly prominent as Thailand's largest border and overland cross-border trade export market. The most direct manifestation is that in 2021, Thailand's exports to China through overland cross-border trade surpassed Malaysia for the first time. The China-Laos Railway, which will be opened on December 2 this year, has strengthened the cross-border trade network structure of China-Thailand to realize a large traffic channel of water, land, railway, and air.
In the past, Thailand's exports to the southwestern China market were mainly through the Guangxi land port, and the export value accounted for 82% of Thailand's land cross-border trade exports to the southwestern China market. The opening of the China-Laos Railway makes Thailand's exports to China through the Yunnan land port expected to become an important driving force for Thailand's exports to the southwestern Chinese market.
In the future, the main driving force for the growth of Thailand's border and land cross-border trade exports will come from the China-Laos Railway. This is the best proof that China's export volume surpasses Malaysia. But it should be noted that fruits are still the bulk of land trade. For Thai business operators, quality control will be the biggest challenge.
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According to official data, the total value of Thai border and overland cross-border trade exports from January to August 2021 was 682.184 billion baht, a year-on-year increase of 38%. The three overland cross-border trade export markets of Singapore, southern China and Vietnam totaled 61.1% growth, while the total export growth of border trade between Thailand and neighboring countries such as Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia was 22.2%.