"Chinese Bridge" language competition links Thai students to Chinese enterprises

BANGKOK, May 1 (Xinhua) -- The Thailand final round of 18th "Chinese Bridge", an annual Chinese language and culture proficiency competition for foreign college students, was held on Tuesday, while two Chinese enterprises were also invited there to offer internship opportunities for Thai students learning Chinese language.

About a hundred of Thai students learning Chinese watched the competition on Tuesday, which was held in the Tio Chew (Chaozhou) Association of Thailand in Bangkok.

A total of 20 students, who came out of 146 students, got on stage in turns to show their Chinese proficiency and talents. Natnaree Banluepaophong, a senior student from Chiang Mai University, won the first prize and the opportunity to further compete with participants from other countries. Chutikarn Saelee, a sophomore student from Mae Fah Luang University, won the opportunity to watch further competitions in China.

This year, the Thailand final round competition was not just a competition as two Chinese companies, ICBC (Thai) Bank, China Southern Airline's Bangkok office, were invited to set booths to introduce themselves to Thai students and offered internship opportunities.

"It's the first time that we invites enterprises to be here in the competition," said Wang Huichang, representative of the Confucius Institute Headquarters Thailand office.

In recent years, there are more and more Chinese enterprises coming to invest in Thailand while there are more and more Thai products exported to China, which generate a great demand of Thais who can speak Chinese and thus they coordinated with the two Chinese enterprises to offer some 30 internships, Wang said.

Zhao Yang, general manager of China Southern Airline's Bangkok office, told Xinhua that the competition is a rare chance for them to meet so many Thai students learning Chinese and they were waiting for Thai students who are interested in jobs related to airlines.

Li Zhigang, chairman of the Board of Directors of ICBC (Thai) which also sponsored the competition on Tuesday, said 95 percent of their 1,200 employees are Thais and they want more Thai employees who can speak Chinese and understand China well for the growth of the bank in Thailand.

"If any student is good in the internship, he or she can become part of our bank," he said.

Thai student Chutikarn Saelee told Xinhua that she is glad that internships are offered at scene and she asked those Chinese enterprises to offer more opportunities to sophomore, junior students besides senior students.

According to representative Wang Huichang, his office is to work together with Chinese-Thai Enterprises Association and Thai officials to launch a job fair to bridge Chinese enterprises in Thailand and Thai students learning Chinese.

[ Editor: WPY ]


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