Published: 23:58, July 8, 2024
Thai PM, HK tycoon forge new cultural, trade horizons
By Wang Zhan
Adrian Cheng Chi-kong (left), CEO and executive vice-chairman of New World Development Co Ltd, receives a gift from Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin during their meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, on Monday. Provided to China Daily

Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin met in Bangkok, Thailand, on Monday with Adrian Cheng Chi-kong, CEO and executive vice-chairman of New World Development Co Ltd, to discuss potential cooperation in culture, art, and trade between Thailand and China.

They explored the possibility of collaborating on holding an Asian art exhibition, according to a news release from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region-based conglomerate.

Their collaboration seeks to deepen cultural exchanges among Asian countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative, allow the world to better understand the essence of Asian culture, and build connections among the world’s top art institutions.

They also envision promoting cross-border exchanges between emerging Asian contemporary artists and their global counterparts, and cultivating emerging contemporary artists to promote the democratization of art.

Healthcare was also identified as a promising sector for future China-Thailand cooperation. With China’s rapidly advancing biomedical technology, and Thailand’s acclaim as a medical tourism hub — boasting more than 70 Joint Commission International-certified hospitals — the two nations can leverage their respective advantages to develop new models of health and medical ties.

This partnership has the potential not only to advance health and medical industries in both nations, but also promote regional cooperation and accelerate Asia’s transformation into a global health and medical industry center.

Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin (middle row, center) meets with Adrian Cheng Chi-kong (left row, center), CEO and executive vice-chairman of New World Development Co Ltd, in Bangkok, Thailand, on Monday. Provided to China Daily

Additionally, the meeting discussed the progress of the multiple-central bank digital currency Bridge (mBridge), which has completed a real transaction pilot program involving the digital reminbi, digital Hong Kong dollar, digital Thai baht, and digital dirham of the United Arab Emirates. With the participation of the Saudi Central Bank, the project has entered the stage of exploring the “minimum viable product” stage.

Cheng also introduced his forward-thinking strategy to develop a next-generation blockchain infrastructure and application with commercial banks, global blockchain technology companies, asset managers, and major corporates.

His cross-border blockchain payment solution aims to provide highly efficient, low-cost, scalable, and regulatory-compliant services through innovative developments in technology infrastructure, regulatory framework, and business use cases.

In addition to payment innovation, his project also creates a seamless integration between tokenized real world asset and tokenized currencies via blockchain.