China-Thailand-Australia RCEP Xiangjiang Forum




The Secretary-General of the Prime Minister of Thailand and the Chairman of 

the Australia-China Entrepreneurs Club exchanged eagerly at 

the "2023 China-Thailand (Changsha) Economic and Trade Forum"


- - "China-Thailand-Australia RCEP Xiangjiang Forum"


【世界华人商务网】Selena Xie - Xie Yanmei 报道:

[World Chinese Business Network] Selena Xie - Xie Yanmei reported :




From March 3rd to 5th, the 2023 Second China-Thailand (Changsha) Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum was successfully held in Changsha. The opening ceremony was held on the morning of March 4.




This forum included keynote speeches, on-site inspections, project signing, exchanges and interactions, etc. This forum has set up keynote speeches, field visits, project signing, exchanges and interactions and other links. Former Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Thai-Chinese Cultural and Economic Association Bhokin Bhalakula, Secretary-General of the Prime Minister of the State Council of Thailand DR.Sommai Eiamsaaro, Chairman of the Thai-ASEAN Economic and Trade Promotion Association Xiao Guogang and others went to Changsha to participate in this event .

湖南省政协海外顾问、澳洲企业家俱乐部主席、ABC环球集团总裁袁祖文,作为重要的海外嘉宾参加了本次论坛,并在本次论坛的开幕式上发表了重要讲话。( 他的全英文讲话内容附后!)


 Richard YUAN, JP, Overseas Consultant of the Hunan Provincial Political Consultative Conference, Chairman of Australian Entrepreneur Club, President of ABC Global Group, Participated in this forum as an important overseas guest, And delivered an important speech at the opening ceremony of this forum. ( His full English speech contents is attached at the end of this article ! ) 



As a well-known leader of the overseas Chinese community, Mr. Richard YUAN, JP, chairman of the Australia-China Entrepreneur Club, had already talked about the development opportunities of this regional cooperation organization when he accepted an English interview with BLOOMBERG on January 13, 2021. He has a deep understanding of the current international economic situation and transnational cooperation, and he also has his own unique insights into this cooperation between China and Thailand.


3月4日论坛开幕式的当晚,在澳中企业家俱乐部和中泰(长沙)经贸合作论坛组委会的精心组织下,湖南省政协海外顾问袁祖文,以及泰国、澳大利亚各界国际友人来到了长沙的地标式建筑--具有浓厚湖湘文化特色的长沙天心阁- -成功举办了一场“中泰澳RCEP湘江论坛”。


On the evening of the opening ceremony of the forum on March 4, under the careful organization of the Australia-China Entrepreneur Club and the China-Thailand (Changsha) Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum Organizing Committee, Richard YUAN, JP, an overseas consultant of the Hunan Provincial Political Consultative Conference, and international friends from all walks of life in Thailand and Australia,

 - - came to Changsha's landmark building - - Changsha Tianxin Pavilion with strong Hunan cultural characteristics - - successfully held a "China-Thailand-Australia RCEP Xiangjiang Forum".




The organizer of this event kindly invited DR.Sommai Eiamsaaro, Secretary-General of the Prime Minister of the State Council of Thailand, and friends from different fields and industries in Thailand and Australia who participated in the China-Thailand Economic and Trade Forum, as well as other leaders and friends from China, a total of nearly 50 international friends attended the meeting.




Mr. Richard YUAN, JP, chairman of the Australia-China Entrepreneur Club, personally planned the meeting. Vice-chairman Kuang Shunmin, and Ouyang Zhaolin, an Australian entrepreneur from Hunan, participated in the meeting. The event also specially invited Mr. Liu Yulin, a national first-class conductor, and a group of artists representing provincial-level national music culture to perform live at the meeting and add to the fun. Music has no borders, and Chinese music is an important medium for telling Chinese stories.


活动伊始,袁祖文主席首先致欢迎词: 热忱欢迎泰国国务院总理秘书长颂迈·英飒阿德先生及参加今晚活动的泰国和中方特邀嘉宾朋友们,今晚我们组织一场“中泰澳RCEP湘江论坛”雅集活动,在具有浓郁湖湘文化的长沙天心阁欢迎远道而来的朋友们,让我们一起把盏品茗、互鉴交流、感受古城长沙的浓郁人文魅力!


At the beginning of the event, Chairman Richard YUAN, JP first delivered a welcome speech: Warmly welcome DR.Sommai Eiamsaaro, Secretary-General of the Prime Minister of the State Council of Thailand, and the special guests and friends from Thailand and China who participated in the event tonight, Tonight, we organize a "China-Thailand-Australia RCEP Xiangjiang Forum" Gathering event. We welcome friends from afar in Changsha Tianxin Pavilion, which has a strong Hunan culture. Let's drink tea together, learn from each other, and experience the ancient city of Changsha.


以音传情,美美与共,和和共生。在这样一个具有传承性,包容性,亲切共融的活动空间里,袁祖文主席特别邀请秘书长颂迈·英飒阿德先生走上舞台,针对这次经贸论坛活动的具体内容,现场热情地解答朋友们的提问! 大家提出来的问题五花八门,包罗万象!秘书长先生都一一做出了详细而又圆满的解答。


Conveying love with sound, sharing beauty , and living in harmony. In such an event space with inheritance, inclusiveness, and harmony, Chairman Richard YUAN, JP specially invited Mr. DR.Sommai Eiamsaaro, the Secretary-General, to the stage to give enthusiastic answers to the specific content of this economic and trade forum. The questions raised by everyone are varied and all-encompassing,Mr. Secretary-General gave detailed and satisfactory answers one by one.




The guest of honor also specially prepared the exchange of gifts: Thai friends presented exquisite tea utensils, and the organizer also presented Hunan embroidery ornaments representing Hunan characteristics. Mr. DR.Sommai EiamsaaroSecretary-General of the Prime Minister of Thailand, presented a gift to Chairman Richard YUAN, JP of the Australia-China Entrepreneur Club.




During the meeting, enthusiastic Chinese and Thai friends also sang the songs 《Shanghai Beach》and 《The Moon Represents My Heart》together, pushing the event to a climax !




Afterwards, the guests and friends went to the Tianxin Pavilion, watch the tea art performance by the tea art masters, taste the fragrant tea, enjoy the melodious ancient music, and enjoy the fragrance of tea.




The good time always seems so short, all the guests and friends took a group photo together, so far the Sino-Thai-Macao RCEP Xiangjiang Forum has come to a perfect conclusion ! 


Let’s sincerely wish the friendship between China and Thailand last forever, and sincerely leave the most beautiful smiles to each other to warm everyone !

附:论坛上的一些照片!(Attached some photos from the forum !)



Former Thai Deputy Prime Minister Bhokin Bhalakula gave a speech in Thai at the opening ceremony of the forum




Richard YUAN, JP, Overseas Consultant of the Hunan Provincial Political Consultative Conference, 

Chairman of Australian Entrepreneur Club, 

President of ABC Global Group delivered a keynote speech in English at the opening ceremony of this forum




Mr. DR.Sommai Eiamsaaro, Secretary-General of the Prime Minister of Thailand,

 presented a gift to Chairman Richard YUAN, JP of the Australia-China Entrepreneur Club.




All the guests and friends who attended the meeting took a group photo together


澳洲企业家俱乐部主席、ABC环球集团总裁袁祖文与世界华人商务网的英文版主编 Selena Xie - Xie Yanmei 

Chairman Richard YUAN, JP of the Australia-China Entrepreneur Club.and the editor-in chief 

of the English version of World Chinese Business Network Selena Xie - Xie Yanmei 


The following is the full text of Chairman Richard YUAN, JP's speech in English at the opening ceremony:

RCEP Opprotunities and challenges - An Australian Prospective


Dear His Excellency DR.Sommai Eiamsaaro,Secretary to the prime minister,Secretariat of The State Council of Thailand;Mr. Bhokin Bhalakula, former deputy Prime Minister of Thailand; the prominent business delegation from Thailand; Mr. Meng Jianjun, Deputy Head of the Mass Organizations Work Department of Xiangjiang New Area, Hunan Province, Madam. Deng Wei, Chairman of the Overseas Chinese Federation of Xiangjiang New Area, Ladies and Gentlement,

My name is Richard YUAN, chairman of Australia China Enterprenuers Club. I am both very honored to speak at the 2nd China Thailand (Changsha) Economic & Trade Cooperation Forum, where people from RCEP countries can gather together to embrace this significant occasion.

China has been enjoying a close tie and fantastic trading records with the ASEAN countries, where we in Australia, wished to have participated more in trading with both China and the ASEAN countries. The RCEP that was finally formed in later 2020 has remedied and addressed that issue properly.  

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (shortened as RCEP) is a free trade agreement between 15 Asia-Pacific countries, including ALL ASEAN countries, China, Japan, Korea in Northeast Asia, plus New Zealand and Australia in Oceania. RCEP is expected to bring tremendous opportunities to these countries, and please allow me to elaborate specifically in three of the most related countries today, namely, China, where this conference is now being held; Australia, where I came all the way, and Thailand, where this is most relevant as I know from the VIP guest lists today, so many VIP guests from Thailand have been able to participate today at this conference.

China’s first and 2nd tier cities have always been the first to catch the attention of both traders and investors from around the world. This is particularly true in the instance of China in the past 45 years since China’s opening to the outside world in 1978. Now China’s economic opportunities extend further to more inner cities, where the doors were opened slowly, but surely, as part of China’s growth strategy, from the mega, coastal, super cities to the less privileged inland cities of China.

In 1978, Changsha has a merely Gross Domestic Growth of US$240 million only, compared to US$200 billion dollars (nearly 1000 times more) in 2022; while the whole of Hunan Province had a GDP of US$2.1 billion dollar only in 1978, compared to a US$18 trillion in 2021 (also 1000 times,remember, that is in the Covid19 period)  Changsha, the capital city of Hunan Province, is now a favorite of such unprecedented grown and economic powerhouse of Central China, where its huge economic growth potential has been slowly unleashed…and that’s why it is now a perfect venue for our forum today.

I still remember, back in September 2019, Australian exporters were able to come and gather here in Changsha to attend what I called” Australian Week in Hunan” and they were amazed and very keen to look into the opportunity in one of China’s fastest growing area in the middle of China.  However, due to the outbreak of Covid19, this has been put on a “pause” button. But this September, we would be intending to launch a “Hunan Int’l Business Week” around 15-22nd of September, 2023 and some business delegations from Canada, the US, New Zealand and Australia have expressed their intention to participate that week long business gatherings that includes trade shows, international conference and factories and business visits.  I hope to be able to welcome you here.

On another note, China is probably one of the very few cities that regularly release and review its five year plan as part of its growing strategies since its founding. We in Australia do not have that privilege as Australian election cycles in its government simply would not fit in properly and a 5 year plan would be beyond any term of any levels of Australian government. Therefore, China’s unmatched growth in the past 4 decades have been the envy of Australian entrepreuers and business owners.


Now, I would like to share what I believe to be the current opportunities that we need to embrace:


Although China has many 1 to 1 economic partnership agreement in the past, the RCEP will provide Chinese companies with much greater access to markets in other RCEP countries, in addition to the ASEAN countries where the economic growth has been extremely healthy in the past couple of decades. This is beneficial to China as it can help boost exports and investment. In addition, it will help China to diversify its markets and reduce its over dependence on trade with the United States and Europe. Such efforts are also evident in Africa, where the Bi-Annual China Africa Forum were focused on China’s effort to trade and invest with the 54 countries continent. Changsha is also the lucky city to host such events and it is now a permanent host city for this great event. The agreement will also help reduce trade barriers and promote economic integration in the Asia-Pacific region.


China and Australia has signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) on November 17, 2014, where I personally have witnessed that important occasion, when China’s President Xi Jinping visited Australia and delivered an important speech in the Parliament House in Canberra. The FTA has benefited many Australian companies, including mine, to export Australian goods and services to China’s mainland. Chinese consumers were able to enjoy super quality level exports like quality wines, milk powders, and even baby infant formula etc since, and China and Australia have enjoyed such a cozy relationship prior and post the signing of the FTA. It was not until August 23, 2018, when Australia banned Huawei, that the relationship deteriorated suddenly and substantially and both trade and investment were hit and people of both countries have suffered phenomenally.   The timely signing of RCEP in 2020, virtually replaced the above FTA and it will now provide Australian businesses with greater access to markets in Asia, particularly Korea, China and Japan. The agreement will also help reduce tariffs on Australian exports, making them more competitive in these markets. Australian firms will also have better access to investment opportunities in other RCEP countries.


As a major exporter in Southeast Asia, Thailand is expected to benefit from increased trade with other RCEP countries, and hopefully more with China, particularly more with my home province. The agreement will help to reduce tariffs on Thai exports, making them more competitive in these markets. It will also provide Thai businesses with greater access to investment opportunities in other RCEP countries.


There are, unfortunately breakdowns of communications between China and the West, as whatever the Chinese promote can hardly be heard in the West, while the West, including Australia, where I came from, speaks its own language and form our own narratives. There are definitely no easy remedy for such barriers, but hopefully, with more international forums like this, we can help bridge the difference and break the barrier, by trying to communicate at all levels, from grossroots and top level leadership, I would call on all of you to make the initial move and take the initiative to spread the goodwill message around.

Hunan Provincial Perspective

Digital economy would be the next power engine of China, and it is also the national strategy of China; Changsha, the capital city of Hunan Province, boosts the super computer calculation centre. Hunan can take advantage of such computer superiority, combined with artificial intelligency, Metaverse, OpenAI and to build a proper trading platform for China, Thailand and Australia, which can greatly help RCEP countries in a new direction.

As a province in China, Hunan stands to benefit from the various opportunities that RCEP offers, such as:

Newly available access to new markets: RCEP creates a massive market of 2.2 billion people, representing almost a third of the world's population. This offers Hunan Province new opportunities to sell its goods and services to a wider range of customers, potentially boosting its economy.

Increased foreign investment: RCEP is expected to increase foreign investment into China, including Hunan Province. As a result, the province could attract more foreign businesses, which could lead to job creation and economic growth.

Lower tariffs: Under RCEP, member countries will reduce or eliminate tariffs on many goods and services. This means that Hunan Province's exports will become much more competitive in RCEP markets, potentially leading to increased sales and profits.

Improved trade relations: By strengthening economic ties between RCEP members, the agreement could help improve trade relations to link Hunan Province directly with other member countries. This could lead to increased cooperation and mutually beneficial partnerships.

Improved supply chain efficiency: RCEP could help improve supply chain efficiency for Hunan Province's businesses by reducing barriers to trade and harmonizing regulations. This could lead to cost savings and increased competitiveness for businesses operating in the province.

Overall, RCEP has the potential to bring significant benefits to Hunan Province by creating new opportunities for trade, investment, and economic growth.