By The Nation
Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit presided at the fifth Thai-Bangladeshi Joint Trade Committee meeting, where the focus was on agriculture, fisheries, livestock, health services and transportation.
The two countries have enjoyed warm relations for 47 years, benefiting particularly from their economic ties.
Thailand regards Bangladesh as an important strategic partner in terms of trade, investment and transportation. It was Thailand’s third-largest trading partner in South Asia in 2018.
The $1.2 billion worth of annual trade between the countries includes $1.2 million worth of Thai exports to Bangladesh and $59 million worth of imports from Bangladesh.
In the first 11 months of 2019, Thai imports from Bangladesh rose by 38.3 per cent over the same period of 2018. And Thai interest is increasing in key products such as jute yarn, shoes and ready-made garments.
Thai direct investment in Bangladesh from 2006-2019 amounted to $1.5 billion, with much it going into agro-industrial and agro-processing businesses, construction and hotels.
Bangladeshi direct investment in Thailand in the same period was worth $1.12 million.
The partners are in advantageous geographical proximity for mutual trade and extension of their trade across the region. Thailand is central to Southeast Asia and has infrastructure and policy in place to support investment in the form of development projects as the Eastern Economic Corridor, by which Bangladesh will be able to distribute its goods across the region and to East Asia. Bangladesh on the Indian Ocean has the modern infrastructure to facilitate Thai products and services in South Asia, the Middle East and Africa,
Thailand is seeking to more closely link Ranong Port with Bangladesh’s Chittagong Port as a channel for transporting goods.
Jurin invited Bangladeshi businesspeople to visit the international exhibitions held here annually, such as the Bangkok Gems and Jewellery Fair, Thaifex and Style Bangkok, and he urged Dhaka to pursue a free-trade agreement with Bangkok.