Yunnan is China’s closest province to Thailand. Its distinctive geographical location makes it a logistics centre and a Thai distribution centre to connect with other regions in China, Nat Vimonchandra, Consul (Commercial) and Director of the Thai Trade Centre in Kunming, China, says.
According to Vimonchandra, this part of China’s mainland is a potential gateway for Thai entrepreneurs to explore since it provides greater opportunities for Thai trade and investment. Yunnan and other southern provinces import many products from Thailand including fresh food and commodities. It can act as a logistics hub for distribution to other parts of mainland China.
Vimonchandra believes that the construction of the 414-km high-speed train route link from Vientiane to Kunming will benefit the export of many goods from Thailand to the southern part of China. Moreover, after the facilitations and specific inspection checkpoint for fresh fruits, frozen seafoods, and cereals have been finished, Thai fresh fruits should be able to export to China via the high-speed route to Mohan checkpoint in China. Many Thai products, including dried food, tropical fruit, seafood and rubber pillows could shine on the Chinese market.
“Today’s Chinese consumers have an open culture and accept a variety of food products from abroad,” he says. “There is strong demand for a variety of quality products with modern packaging. Also, an increasing population and purchasing power with an average growth rate of approximately 6 to 8 percent per year create opportunities for Thai entrepreneurs to penetrate the Chinese market, in particular in the food sector.”
Thai products that are now popular among Chinese consumers are seasoning products, various sauces, chilli paste, Tom Yum curry paste, snacks, honey and instant bird’s nests drinks.
Fresh chicken and fruit are other potential export products, according to Vimonchadra.
China is the world’s largest country with the highest demand for chicken consumption at 18 million tonnes a year. In 2024, demand for chicken consumption in China is expected to grow to 27 million tonnes. Moreover, as the Chinese now have a better quality of life, they pay more attention to health, focusing on nutritious foods such as fruits. Chinese are very fond of tropical fruits from Thailand such as durian, mangosteen, longan, pomelo, young coconut and sugar banana, adds Vimonchandra.
Chinese people also like to buy health and beauty products from abroad. Vimonchadra believes that the growth of tourism from China to Thailand has helped promote the acceptance of Thai health, beauty and spa products back in China, especially those made from natural products.
To encourage demand for Thai imports, DITP China, including the Kunming office, will arrange a series of activities and events on a hybrid platform throughout the year. These include Top Thai Brands exhibitions, Thailand Trust Mark events, and projects to increase fruit exports to Kunming by joining forces with Hema supermarket and Parkson department store in Kunming. This year, Kunming office also plans to organize one more such activity in Yuxi City, which is a city near Kunming and located on the China-Laos railway route that will connect to various regions inside and outside China. The event to promote trade to the city will be held in August.
For more information, please contact [email protected]
Photo courtesy of DITP’s Overseas Office in Kunming, China
Words by Petchanet Pratruangkrai