By Petchanet Pratruangkrai
Thailand plans to cooperate more closely with South Africa to triple bilateral trade to US$10 billion (about Bt300 billion) in four years from the average of $2.97 billion in the past five years.
Piramol Charoenpao, director-general of the Trade Negotiations Department, said yesterday that Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom would on Tuesday lead a mission to Cape Town for the third Joint Trade Commission meeting, which has been suspended for more than eight years.
The meeting aims to increase trade and investment opportunities as well as eliminate trade and non-trade barriers, especially against fruits shipped from Thailand.
Investment opportunities from Thailand to South Africa will also be discussed.
The businesses of interest to Thai investors are infrastructure development, mining and telecommunications.
Thailand will also promote its rice as South Africa has high demand for the cereal.
According to the department’s data, South Africa is Thailand’s largest trading partner in Africa. Last year, two-way trade increased 32 per cent to $4.73 billion. South Africa accounts for 0.99 per cent of Thailand’s trade. Thai exports were worth $2.84 billion, while imports were valued at $1.88 billion.
The JTC meeting is part of the activities marking the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations.