New Kerala - 4 May 2006
Thailand to include more products in FTA with India
Chennai: Thailand hopes to increase the number of products in the Free Trade Agreement with India from the current 82 products, Vice Chairman of Thai Chamber of Commerce Pipat Paniangvait said here today.
At a meeting organised with the Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), Pipat said food processing industry in Thailand provided a host of opportunities and the Indian units operating in the sector would be welcome to set up bases there.
Instant noodles, bakery and biscuit markets were big in Thailand and countries like Phillipines and Malaysia had set up manufacturing facilities for these products as the production cost in Thailand was cheap.
On the FTA with India and the bilateral trade between the two countries, Pipat said high tariff rates in India was a matter of concern.
Last year, the value of bilateral trade with India reached nearly USD 3,000 million. Thailand exported goods worth USD 1,600 million to India and imported about USD 1,300 million from India. "There is a big room for further expansion of trade between us," he said.
Pipat is leading a 14-member Thai delegation to India to explore various business opportunities.
"Although the FTA has been signed, business is yet to take off to its full potential as people in both the countries have to become familiar and confident with products of both the countries," V Balaraman, President, MCCI said.
Indian market was a fast growing one and the time was ripe for Thai companies to set up their base here, he said. "Import duties are only at 12.50 per cent now. It is the best time for them to come to India", he said.