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China, Thailand Sign Agreements to Boost Trade - 2003-10-18

Thailand and China on Saturday signed five agreements on trade and investment, including cooperation between the two nations' state-run petroleum firms. The trade agreements deepen already close bilateral trade and economic ties.

The five agreements between Thailand and China reflect a dramatic increase in bilateral trade between the two fastest growing economies in Asia.

Trade with China now accounts for more than four percent of Thailand's total foreign trade, worth more than $7.3 billion. China is currently Thailand's fourth largest trading partner.

China and Thailand are pledging to establish a joint committee on trade, investment and economic cooperation, supported by regular high-level talks on important economic issues.

The two countries also signed an agreement to facilitate petroleum trading between their state-run oil companies.

Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and China's President Hu Jintao signed the agreements during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Bangkok.

Only days earlier, a sweeping free trade agreement between China and Thailand went into effect. The agreement covers fruit and vegetables, and will soon expand to cover more than 100 agricultural and industrial goods.