Thailand seeks to build maritime ties with India

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - 18:10

New Delhi: Thailand Prime Minister Yingluck
Shinawatra on Wednesday expressed desire to double trade with India
to USD 14 billion by 2014 and forge maritime partnership to
develop seaport at Dawei,a strategic location on the
southwestern coast of Myanmar.

Addressing leaders of Indian industry at the luncheon
meeting hosted by Assocham, Ficci and CII here,Shinawatra
said, the two countries can also have cooperation in
developing the port infrastructure at Chennai.

"My government has decided to invest in transport and
connect with our neighbours...we could set up a maritime
linkage with Chennai and Dawei seaport in Myanamar..," the
visiting Prime Minister said, adding the road connectivity can
also be developed.

Dawei is a strategic location for India to get access to
South East Asian markets. China is investing heavily in the
countries neighbouring India.

Shinawatra said India-Thailand trade has seen a quantum
jump from USD one billion to USD seven billion in the last ten
years, helped by `Early Harvest` pact, limited to 82 items.

The two countries want to upgrade it to a full-fledged
Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) covering
not only goods but also services and investment.

"We will work together to finalise FTA (CEPA) by middle
of this year. This will cut the tariff on remaining products.

This is why the two governments are setting up a goal to
double the bilateral trade to USD 14 billion in 2014,"
Shinawatra, who would be the Chief Guest at the Republic Day
celebrations, said.

She said there is a potential to collaborate in areas
like IT, manufacturing, tourism and medical services. "We hope
to work together to set up a high-level forum with
businessmen," she said.

Stating that Thailand has expertise in the manufacturing
sector, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said, "We
would like to invite your companies and institutions to become
partner in this. You have achieved a lot in construction of
highways, ports and airports."

In October last year, the government had cleared the
National Manufacturing Policy (NMP), which seeks to set up
mega industrial zones.

The policy aims to raise the share of manufacturing in
the country`s Gross Domestic Product to 25 per cent from 16
per cent at present. It is expected to create 100 million jobs
in the sector.

Sharma also said Thailand companies can look at investing
in the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) project, which
aims to create industrial infrastructure covering over 1,483
km.

"I would request your industry to look at investing along
the corridor....," he said, adding that Thailand`s strength --
especially in electronic software manufacturing -- could help
India to complete its projects related to innovation and
manufacturing.

Meanwhile, an agreement was signed between Delhi-based
Indo Rama Synthetics and Bangkok`s Indorama Ventures for
setting up a facility in India for polyester fibre at an
investment of USD 700 million.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - 17:50

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