BEIJING/BANGKOK — China will allow investors in Thailand to invest up to 50 billion yuan (278 billion baht) in China’s capital markets, the Chinese central bank said on Thursday, which will help facilitate trade and investment between the two countries.

Qualified Thai investors will invest under the Renminbi Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor scheme, or RQFII, it said in an online statement.

Launched in 2011, the RQFII programme allows financial institutions to use offshore yuan to buy securities in mainland China, including stocks, bonds and money market investments.

The Bank of Thailand issued a similar statement, saying the quota granted under RQFII scheme marks another important milestone in the growing Sino-Thai trade and investment relations.

“This will provide opportunities for institutional investors in Thailand to more efficiently manage their investment returns and diversify risks, as well as promote the use of renminbi to facilitate the growing trade and investment between Thailand and China,” the Bank of Thailand said.

The two central banks have deepened their cooperation in support of the use of their currencies for trade and investment, starting with the signing of the RMB-baht bilateral swap arrangement in 2011 and its subsequent extension in December 2014, followed by the establishment of the RMB clearing bank in Thailand early this year, the BoT said.

China was Thailand’s biggest market last year, taking 806 billion baht of Thai shipments, or 11% of the total.

Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak told reporters after a meeting in Bangkok with Chinese officials on economic cooperation, that Thailand and China aimed to double their trade value to US$120 billion over the next five years.

Thailand also expects to attract 10 million Chinese tourists next year after 7.9 million for this year, the biggest source of visitors.

Thailand and China will also jointly build a 468-billion baht rail project in Thailand, with a ground-breaking ceremony due on Saturday.