Thailand seeks to boost trade, investment with India
The Dollar Business Bureau
Thailand on Thursday invited Indian companies to enhance their investments in its country, as the two countries looked to explore cooperation in trade and investment, defence, security and tourism sectors, during Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-Cha’s three-day visit to India.
"Trade between two countries is quite low and there is room for more cooperation between Thailand and India," Thailand Board of Investment Deputy Secretary General Chokedee Kaewasang said on Thursday in New Delhi.
"Thailand and India are in a unique position to help each other. Thailand will help India in getting access to ASEAN," Kaewasang said.
Chan-o-Cha met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, and the two leaders discussed ways to boost bilateral trade, deal with the threat of terrorism and expand maritime security cooperation.
The Thai Prime Minister is currently leading a business delegation to discuss ways to deepen and develop bilateral trade and investment with India. The visiting delegation consists of companies which are looking to explore India’s infrastructure and hospitality sector, particularly keen on enhancing facilities in the Buddhist pilgrimage circuit.
India’s bilateral trade with Thailand has gone up almost eight times to about $7.93 billion in the last 15 years. The country’s total exports to Thailand stood at $2.63 billion while imports were $5.3 billion last year.
Answering a question on India’s FTA negotiations with Thailand, Vikas Swarup, Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs said, “Certainly, discussions are under way and obviously we are keen to conclude these successfully to our mutual agreement and to our mutual benefit. They are ongoing.”
India has held over 29 rounds of discussions on India-Thailand FTA, also called a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement. In the early harvest scheme India has liberalised close to 84 tariff lines.
India has invested over $200 million in Thailand in the last two years, while the latter aims to invest $53.4 million in improving infrastructure in India.
The Thailand government is also looking at digital infrastructure, as it has plans to invest $12 billion in digital infrastructure in India.