KUNMING, China (Xinhua) — Li Hongyun, a flower grower from Kunming, capital of southwest China’s Yunnan Province, has never been to Thailand, yet the roses he plants have gained popularity in Bangkok, the nation’s capital.
Weeks before each Valentine’s Day, Li receives orders from florists in Bangkok. He then begins to pick fresh flowers at about 8 a.m. every day, and the packed flowers will be available for sale at a Bangkok market within 40 hours thanks to the Kunming-Bangkok Highway.
Kunming, known as “the flower capital of Asia,” boasts a warm climate that allows flowers of various kinds to blossom year-round. The Dounan Flower Market, the biggest in Kunming, sold about 8.2 billion flowers to more than 50 countries and regions in 2018.
“Thai people send flowers to each other on important festivals,” said Ma Na, a Kunming florist running a business in Bangkok. “Carnations, roses and lilies are particularly in high demand, and these flowers growing in temperate regions can only be imported as the weather is too hot in Bangkok,” Ma said.
“Thailand is a key overseas market for the flowers exported from Kunming,” Ma said, adding that compared with other major flower-growing areas such as the Netherlands and Africa, Kunming is much closer to Bangkok, with lower transportation costs and price advantages.
“Dounan Flower Market was one of my favorite places to visit when I was studying in Kunming,” said Siraprapa Inpa, who had never expected that she would still be able to buy fresh flowers from Kunming after returning to Thailand.
In addition to the trade in flowers, fruits, seafood, rubber and other goods, exchanges and cooperation between Thailand and China in a variety of fields have become closer and closer.
China and Thailand agreed to build the China-Thailand railway into a successful example in bilateral cooperation within the Belt and Road Initiative framework, according to a recent joint press statement released during Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s official visit to the Southeast Asian country.
“I’m looking forward to more convenient trade services so that more and more Thai people are able to smell the fragrance of the flowers from Kunming,” Ma said. ■