Thailand seeks trade ties with NE
Guwahati, Mar 18 : Thailand is seeking avenues to enhance the bilateral and business relations with India's North East (NE) Region, said a top official in Guwahati.
As a follow-up of the Indo-Thai Business Seminar organised by Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India in January at Bangkok, Dr. Nalinee Taveesin, Permanent Representative of PMO Royal Thai Government in Thailand, visited the North India Region on ICC's invitation to enhance the bilateral and business relations between Thailand and North East Region.
Taveesin, formerly Thailand's trade representative and currently a "Cabinet Member in Thailand's Prime Minister's office along with Royal Thai Government trade delegation, interacted with industry and government in Guwahati hosted by Indian Chamber of Commerce.
She holds an important position in the Government of Thailand and is on official tour to the North Eastern states of Meghalaya, Assam and Manipur to strengthen trade relations between Thailand and the NE Region, specially when the region opens up after the commissioning of the Trilateral Asian Highways.
Taveesin said that the governments of Thailand and India have the shared vision to bring the people of the two countries close.
On the macro-economic front, Thailand, Myanmar and India have long enjoyed a close trade and investment relation and there has been close cultural ties since the 13th century (with the North Eastern Region of India ), she said.
She said efforts to increase connectivity between India and ASEAN region is a win-win situation for both sides.
In terns of investment, Thailand ranks 36th among the largest investors in India with a cumulative FDI outflow of USD 94.8 million or about 0.06% of India's total FDI, mostly in machinery, feed and livestock products and construction, she said.
Highlighting her government's efforts to increase trade ties with the NE states, Taveesin said that there is a wide open door for closer cooperation in numerous fields such as agriculture, forestry, mining, energy, hydro-power and eco-tourism.
During her visit to Guwahati, she also called on Assam Governor J B Patnaik and Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.
She termed her meeting with Gogoi as "very promising".
Over the past two decades India's 'Look East' policy has been complemented by Thailand's 'Look West' policy in bringing the two countries closer.
India and Thailand are celebrating 65 years of their diplomatic relations in 2012.
Bilateral Trade has multiplied six times since 2000 to cross US$ 6.6 billion in 2010. Bilateral Trade for the annual year 2011 is USD 8.19 billion and in Jan-Apr 2012 it has reached USD 2.8 billion.
The ASEAN-India Agreement on Trade in Goods which was signed in Bangkok on Aug 13, 2009 became operationalised w.e.f. January 1, 2010.
Negotiations are continuing on concluding its Investments and Services sector components, as well as for a BIMSTEC FTA and an India-Thailand FTA.
Another significant recent element has been the active promotion of trade and investment linkages between the north eastern states of India and Thailand. --IBNS