Guwahati: The bilateral trade between India and Thailand reached an all time high of around USD 15 billion in 2021-22 as the domestic market remains attractive for Thai investors, said Union Minister of State for External Affairs Rajkumar Ranjan Singh.
The economic cooperation between the two countries in trade, investment and tourism have continued to flourish during recent years, Singh said on Saturday at the ongoing second edition of the North East India Festival, being held in Bangkok.
“Thailand is the fourth largest trading destination for India in the ASEAN region. Bilateral trade between India and Thailand has reached an all time high of around USD 15 billion in 2021-22. The Indian market remains attractive for Thai investors,” he added.
Commerce, Culture and Connectivity define the future focus areas of cooperation between India and Thailand, Singh stressed.
“India provides huge opportunities for investment in infrastructure, including roads, ports, power sector, food processing, renewable energy, digital technology, logistics and electric vehicles,” he said.
Singh expressed happiness over the fact that businesses from both sides can enter into long-term partnerships for more diverse and resilient supply chains.
“India’s Act East policy complemented by Thailand’s Act West policy has provided the basis for building a multi-faceted partnership between the two countries. Northeast India is the gateway to Thailand and other South East Asian countries.
“We would welcome the business community of Thailand to explore the Indian market for greater trade and investment linkages with particular emphasis on Northeastern states,” the Indian minister said.
All the Northeastern states are rich in natural resources, minerals and forest wealth, exotic fruits and vegetables, and unparalleled scenic beauty, he stressed.
Echoing similar sentiments, Thailand Deputy Prime Minister Minister Jurin Laksanawisit said: “Thailand is historically and geographically very close to India’s North East.”
He thanked the Indian government for organising the second edition of North East India Festival at Bangkok in the 75th year of India’s diplomatic relations with Thailand.
“The North East India Festival will help in pushing trade, tourism and people to people connect with both the regions,” Laksanawisit said.
The three-day festival showcasing the Northeastern region’s rich diversity and opportunities began on Friday with the presence of a number of dignitaries, including central ministers of India and Thailand along with several chief ministers from the region.
Among those present include Chief Ministers of Meghalaya and Nagaland Conrad Sangma and Neiphu Rio, respectively, Arunachal Pradesh Deputy CM Chowna Mein, Assam’s Textile Minister Urkhao Gwra Brahma and Revenue Minister Jogen Mahan, and Tourism Ministers of Mizoram and Arunachal Robert Rongmawaia Royte and Nakap Nalo, respectively.
As part of the festival, a trade meet was organised wherein around 60 buyers of Thailand interacted with MSME entrepreneurs and government agencies from India.
A B2B meet on tourism was also held and it was attended by 150 tour operators from Thailand who interacted with state tourism departments of Northeast, tour operators and policymakers of both the countries.
An exhibition of products of Northeast such as cuisines, crafts and tourism potential is also being held.