Shri Kamal Nath, Union
Minister of Commerce & Industry, had a bilateral meeting with Mr. Krirk-krai
Jirapaet, Minister of Commerce of Thailand here today. The discussions covered
review of bilateral trade and bilateral investments, with both the Ministers
underlining the scope for substantially stepping up the level of two-way trade,
which stood at US $ 2.2 billion in 2005-06 (comprising US $ 1 billion worth of
India’s exports to Thailand and India’s imports from Thailand valued at US $ 1.2
India’s exports to
Thailand registered a growth of almost 20% over the previous year, while imports
from Thailand increased by about 39%.
With regard to
investments, while several major Indian companies have invested in Thailand, in
the post-liberalisation era, Thailand too had emerged as an important investor
in India with foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows of about US $ 77.6 million
from August 1991 to December 2006. Thailand now ranks 27th
largest investor in India and the 3rd largest from the ASEAN region, after
Singapore and Malaysia.
There is a Framework
Agreement for establishing a Free Trade Area (FTA) between India and Thailand
which was signed by the two governments in October 2003 in Bangkok, covering
goods, services and investment and areas of cooperation. The Framework Agreement
also provides for a Early Harvest Scheme (EHS) under which common items of
export interest to the sides have been agreed for elimination of tariffs on a
fast track basis.
The tariff concessions on
82 items of EHS list have been implemented with effect from 1/9/2004 with the
signing of the Protocol between India and Thailand in August 2004 in New Delhi.
India Thailand Trade
Negotiating Committee (TNC) has been constituted to carry forward the programme
of negotiations as per the Framework Agreement. Nine meetings of the TNC have
been held so far. During these meetings, discussions are being held on the texts
of the Agreement on Trade in Goods, Services and Investment and also on the
Rules of Origin for the FTA.