China–ASEAN natural rubber trade relationship
Starting with Chapter 5, this volume deals with China’s developmental relations with other parts of East Asia, namely, ASEAN and its member states, particularly Thailand.
As noted by Montchai Pinitjitsamut in this chapter, ASEAN is a major producer of rubber, accounting for no less than 75% of the world’s supply. Among the ASEAN states, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam are the four largest producers and exporters of rubber in the world. Most of ASEAN’s natural rubber is exported to China. In fact, China is the world’s largest rubber user, especially its tire industry, as a result of its rapid economic growth. From the various scenarios of Sino-ASEAN natural rubber trade, Pinitjitsamut emphasizes that if both ASEAN and China adopt protectionist measures, they may create unnecessary costs and new risks. Logically, promoting mutual collaboration would be beneficial to both sides. As such, policies should be designed to encourage cooperation in trade, research, price stability, and other areas. From Pinitjitsamut’s analysis, it is noted that China, as the world’s largest rubber user, has the ambition to develop Qingdao in Shandong as an international rubber trade center.