On April 4th and 5th, Prime Minister (PM) Abhisit Vejjajiva visited India as invited by Indian PM Manmohan Singh, to discuss the business and trading opportunities between Thailand and India.
PM Abhisit highlighted that the bilateral trade between the two nations have tripled since the accomplishement of Thailand-India Free Trade Agreement Framework in October 2004.
In 2010, India was Thailand’s 17th largest trading partner and the 11th largest export destination. In addition last year, India’s Department of Commerce listed Thailand as the 28th largest trading partner of India, with trade valued at 6.7 billion US dollars. Within the next two years, this value is estimated to increase to 10 billion US dollars.
Almost 800,000 Indian tourists visited Thailand in 2010, an increase of 46 per cent compared to 2009.
PM Abhisit believes that the Indian tourists would reach one million soon, especially when Thailand has a strong Thai-Indian community across the country.
The PM said that Thailand has even considered reducing the corporate income tax which will attract more overseas investors. In particular Indian investors are identified in several of Thailand’s business sectors such as pharmaceuticals, auto parts, chemicals, software, and Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
PM Abhisit stated that Thailand and India have significant collaborations in the pharmaceuticals industry. India is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of drugs and in modern healthcare. Thailand’s market for medical equipment and supplies is around 800 million US dollars per annum.
The two nations have set targeted areas for Thai investment in India, which include food processing and services such as Thai restaurants and spas.
PM Abhisit believed Thailand and India both have great potentials in development of areas such as automotive manufacturers; producing electronic parts and components; and centres of medicine in the Asian region