Thai, Japanese ministers discuss trade, commercial tie-ups
Commerce ministers from Thailand and Japan discussed a boost in trade and commercial cooperation during a meeting on the sidelines of the 2022 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit.
Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit met with Japan’s Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura on Wednesday at Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre in Bangkok.
Jurin said Nishimura presented a project to celebrate 50 years of ties between Japan and Asean under the concept "Co-create Vision", with a highlight on building at least 100 networks of private Japanese and Asean firms by boosting business matching and joint investments across various industries.
Japan has earmarked a budget of 8 billion yen (2.1 billion baht) for the project.
Nishimura also affirmed that Japan would fully support the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which groups Thailand, Japan and 13 other countries. The RCEP is currently considered the world’s largest free trade bloc, said Jurin.
Japan also urged the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) to continue its mission to establish economic relationships in the region among 14 member countries, including Thailand, Japan, the United States and Australia.
The IPEF was officially announced in May this year in Tokyo and, together, its members represent 40 per cent of the world’s GDP.
Jurin said he discussed the issue in which Thailand is currently exporting only 3 billion tonnes of banana to Japan under the Japan-Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement, which actually stipulates a quota of 8 billion tonnes per year.
“We could not use the whole quota because the agreement has complex regulations that have made some of our products fall short of Japan’s import standards,” said Jurin, adding that he had asked Nishimura to coordinate with the Japan External Trade Organisation to help provide knowledge and necessary training to Thai farmers so they can improve their product quality to meet Japanese standards.
Jurin also asked Nishimura to consider supporting Phuket as host of the Specialised Expo 2028. The expo, which targets medical technology and promotes medical tourism, is supervised by the Bureau International des Expositions, which Thailand and Japan are members of. The bureau is scheduled to select the host in June next year.
In the first nine months of 2022, trade between Thailand and Japan was worth 1.55 billion baht, increasing 9.13% year on year. About 642 billion baht came from exports, which increased 10.7% year on year and included automotive components, processed chicken, machinery, computers, plastic pallets, copper and steel.