By THE NATION
Somkid revealed the Russian proposal after he met Russia's Deputy Minister of Economic Development, Alexei Gruzdev, and members of a business delegation from that country on a visit to Thailand to discuss economic collaboration between the two countries.
Among the business representatives from Russia at the meeting were those from Sber Bank, Rostec Corporation and JSC Ilyushin Finance Co.
Somkid said that, regarding the possible collaboration in the innovation and technology spheres, both countries shared a common desire to upgrade their economies more fully into the digital realm.
The Deputy Prime Minister said Russia had many large companies with expertise in technology relating to the Internet of Things.
Russia also asked Thailand to send a delegation to Russia in May to take part in further discussions regarding collaboration and to participate in the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.
Somkid said he would soon call a meeting with officials from the Commerce Ministry, the Science and Technology Ministry, the Digital Economy and Society Ministry and the Industry Ministry to prepare for this visit.
He added that Russia wanted Thailand to serve as an Asean hub, with a gateway role for Russian investment into other countries in the region.
Industry Minister Uttama Savanayana also met with Gruzdev and the members of the business delegation.
Uttama said that the government’s Thailand's 4.0 industry promotion policy and the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) initiative made Thailand much more attractive to Russian investors.
He said the countries would set up a joint public-private working panel to determine the areas of collaboration.
Russian businesses are keen to invest in the robotics, food, and digital businesses in Thailand, the minister said. He has assigned the ministry's permanent secretary to head the Thai side of the planned joint working panel.
Uttama said that of the Russian business delegation visiting, three companies are engaged in robotics and are keen to invest in that field in Thailand.