Thai farmers sell fruits through Belt & Road

The Belt and Road Initiative is intended to be about more than building highways and boosting trade; China wants to help other Asian economies develop their business skills.

As Thailand is an export-reliant nation, it is seen as essential for companies there to learn new skills, such as e-commerce. As part of the Belt and Road Initiative, China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba and the Thai government have signed a range of deals to sell Thai products online, in particular agricultural crops such as fruits.

For longan, the sweet-tasting fruit grown extensively in north and east Thailand, one of the biggest customers is China, already consuming $300 million-worth a year. Now sales in the traditional marketplace are to be supplemented by selling an extra 10,000 tons of Thai longan in China online, through Alibaba’s T-mall retail website.

China is on track to become the world’s biggest consumer, with a prosperous middle-class of 300 million people eager to purchase quality products. Guan Mu, former Chinese ambassador to Thailand, said: "Within five years China expects to import $8 to 10 trillion worth of goods from Thailand that will include tropical fruit such as longan, durian and rambutan." reports that these new ways of selling – such as these online deals under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative – will greatly contribute to Thailand’s prosperity.

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