Thailand and Laos to meet next month work to boost bilateral trade

Cars are among Thailand's exports to Laos which is its 21st biggest trading partner in the world.- Bloomberg

BANGKOK (The Nation/ANN): Thailand and Laos will hold a meeting on Feb 25-26 to promote cooperation in trade and investnment.

Auramon Supthaweethum, director-general of Thailand’s Trade Negotiations Department, revealed that the meeting will be on a ministerial level between the Ministry of Commerce of Thailand and the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Laos in Bangkok.

They aim to nearly double bilateral trade from the 2016 figure of US$5.9 billion to around $11 billion by 2021, she said.

In 2018, bilateral trade amounted to US$6.73 billion, increasing by 9.21 per cent over 2017 with Thailand enjoying a trade surplus.

Thai exports to Laos amounted to $4.12 billion and Thai imports from Laos were valued at $2.61 billion.

Laos is Thailand's 21st biggest partner in the world market and eighth largest trading partner in Asean.

Exports included refined oil, cars, equipment and components, livestock products, iron, steel, chemicals and cosmetics, soaps, etc while major imports were fuel (electricity), metal ore, electrical machinery and components, electrical appliances, vegetables, fruits, cement, etc.

“This is an opportunity for Thailand to expand further in accordance with the policy of Jurin Laksanawisit, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce, ” she added.

Trade between Thailand and Maldives during the first 11 months of 2019 (January to November) was valued at $170.28 million. Thai exports accounted for $108.60 million. Exports included motorcycles and components, plastic products, clothes, furniture, machinery and mechanical components.

Thailand’s imports totalled $61.69 million, including products such as fresh, chilled, frozen, processed and semi-processed aquatic animals, metal products, textile products and publications etc.

“Maldives is a tourist destination, and therefore, the restaurant, spa, and hotel service businesses are likely to grow. It is an opportunity for Thailand which has potential in this field to invest and open the market for premium products, ” said Auramon.

Auramon said the 12th Thailand-India JTC Meeting is expected to take place in March in New Delhi while the Thailand-South Africa JTC meeting at senior officer level will be held on Feb 18 in Pretoria. - The Nation/Asia News Network

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