Thailand for closer ties with NE

From Our Correspondent

 Guwahati: “The governments of Thailand and India have the shared vision to bring the people of the two countries close. On the macro-economic front, Thailand, Myanmar and India have long enjoyed a close trade and investment relation and there has been close cultural ties since the 13th century (with the North Eastern Region of India),” said Dr Nalinee Taveesin, a minister from Thailand, during an interactive session here.

She said the on-going efforts to increase connectivity between India and ASEAN region was a ‘win-win situation’ for both sides. In terms of investment, Thailand ranks 36th among the largest investors in India with a cumulative FDI outflow of USD 94.8 million or about 0.06% of India’s total FDI, mostly in machinery, feed and livestock products and construction.

Highlighting Thai government’s efforts to increase trade volume with the NE States, Taveesin said that there was a door wide open for closer cooperation in numerous fields such as agriculture, forestry, mining, energy, hydro-power and eco-tourism.

During her visit to Guwahati, Taveesin also called on the Governor of Assam J B Patnaik and Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. She termed her meeting with the chief minister “very promising”.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, Director General, ICC which organised the interaction, stressed on the need of scaling up of projects in NE and the requirement for skill up gradation in the region, to capitalize on the situation.

Over the past two decades, India’s ‘Look East’ policy has been complemented by Thailand’s ‘Look West’ policy in bringing the two countries closer. India and Thailand are celebrating 65 years of their diplomatic relations in 2012. Bilateral Trade has multiplied six times since 2000 to cross US$ 6.6 billion in 2010. Bilateral Trade for the annual year 2011 is USD 8.19 billion and in Jan-Apr 2012 it has reached USD 2.8 billion.

The ASEAN-India Agreement on Trade in Goods which was signed in Bangkok on August 13, 2009 became operational with effect from January 1, 2010. Negotiations are continuing on concluding its Investments and Services sector components, as well as for a BIMSTEC FTA and an India-Thailand FTA.

Another significant recent element has been the active promotion of trade & investment linkages between the north eastern states and Thailand.

As a follow-up of the Indo-Thai Business Seminar organised by the ICC and Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India in January 2013 at Bangkok, Dr. Nalinee Taveesin Permanent Representative of PMO Royal Thai Government in Thailand has visited the North India Region on ICC’s invitation to enhance the bilateral and business relations between Thailand and Northeast.

Dr Taveesin holds an important position in the Government of Thailand and was on official tour to the North Eastern states of Meghalaya, Assam and Manipur to strengthen trade relations between Thailand and the NE Region, especially when the region opens up after the commissioning of the Trilateral Asian Highways.

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