By THE NATION
After a recent meeting with Eva Hager, Austrian ambassador to Thailand and Franz Wessig, a top executive of Austria’s Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs, Oramon Sapthaweetham, director-general of the ministry’s Department of Trade Negotiations, said that both countries agreed to enhance their trade and economic cooperation.
The move came on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the trade ties between the two countries.
Initially, a joint committee for trade cooperation will be formed.
Oramon said Thailand has invited Austria to invest in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC). The country is known for its expertise in modern vehicles, jewellery and accessories, bioscience, digital, SME promotion and vocational training for Industry 4.0.
Both countries also agreed that Thailand and Austria are the gateways in their respective regions and a perfect location for production and distribution of goods .
In 2018, Thailand-Austria trade amounted to US$659 million, up 9.72 per cent from the previous year, with Thai shipments to Austria totalling $261 million - led by jewelleries and accessories, cosmetics, air conditioners, automobiles, motorcycles, garments and computers.
Austrian shipments to Thailand amounted to $398 million last year, led by machinery, jewelleries , gold and silver, electric machines, chemical products, scientific tools, paper and paper products, metal products, plastic products, and medical and pharmaceutical products.
Pratya Samalapa, chairman of Thai Chamber of Commerce’s eastern economic development committee, said the EEC project has seen much progress, pointing to the contract signings of infrastructure projects, including the high-speed rail system.
Meanwhile, he said Thailand is currently in a transition period and the delay in the formation of the next government has led to public uncertainty .