By PETCHANET PRATRUANGKRAI
After meeting with Vietnamese Ambassador to Thailand Nguyen Tat Thanh, Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn said bilateral trade could double within five years under closer cooperation between the two nations’ public and private sectors.
Establishment of a Thai-Vietnamese business council should help increase cooperation between the two countries’ private sectors, in conjunction with the existing Joint Trade Committee, which is a government-to-government mechanism to discuss and solve trade and economic issues.
The target is to drive two-way trade to $20 billion by 2020. In 2014, trade between Thailand and Vietnam was valued at $11.82 billion, up 13.1 per cent from the previous year.
Vietnam is Thailand’s fourth-largest trading partner in Asean and the 11th in the world market.
In the first 10 months of this year, two-way trade was worth $10.83 billion, up by 11.74 per cent, with the value of Thai exports to Vietnam $7.3 billion.
To increase exports to Vietnam, Thailand has also encouraged that country to lift its export ban on four Thai fruits – longan, rambutan, lychee and mango. Hanoi banned those fruits after some insects were found on products exported early this year.
As Vietnam is a member of the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership, it has also agreed to share some of its experiences with the TPP with Thailand as this country mulls joining the pact in the future, Apiradi said.