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Thailand looks to sign trade agreement with Bangladesh

Bangkok Post - 28 April 2024

Thailand looks to sign trade agreement with Bangladesh
By Phusadee Arunmas

Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Phumtham Wechayachai said on Sunday that Thailand and Bangladesh are now looking forward to expanding trade and investments after agreeing to initiate talks toward signing their first free trade agreement (FTA).

He was responding to the signing on Friday of a letter of intent (LoI) between him and his Bangladeshi counterpart, Ahasanul Islam Titu, to commence the Thai-Bangladeshi FTA negotiations by the end of of this year.

While Bangladesh is interested in negotiating with Thailand, its first FTA partner in Asean, Thailand is treating Bangladesh as a strategic partner in its trade and investment in South Asia, he said.

Mr Phumtham said that Bangladesh has an enormous capacity to support Thailand’s effort to expand trade and investment in South Asia and connect to the markets in the Middle East and Africa, considering its size of market, labour, and other resources.

With a population of around 172 million, Bangladesh is a large importing nation and the eighth-most populous country in the world, he said, adding that Bangladesh’s economy grows by 6% per year on average.

Several Thai companies have already invested largely in Bangladesh’s food, construction and hotel industries, he said. Bangladesh has also expressed interest in importing more food products from Thailand, including sugar, vegetable oil and beans, to ensure its food security.

Last year, Thailand and Bangladesh recorded a total value of UScopy.18 billion in trade value between them, of which USD 1.09 billion was the total value of Thailand’s exports to Bangladesh, including oil, cement, plastic pellets, man-made fibres and fabrics, said Mr Phumtham.

 source: Bangkok Post