India, Thailand sign trade agreements for Rs 2,400 crore
Chennai: Thailand and India have signed agreements for Rs 2,400 crore to boost trade ties between the two countries, Deputy Prime Minister of the southeast Asian country Jurin Laksanawisit said on Friday.
The pacts were across segments including rubber, construction material, food and beverages, logistics, he told reporters here on the sidelines of an event organised by the CII (Confederation of Indian Industry).
Giving a break up of the agreements, Laksanawisit on his first visit to India said the agreements signed in Mumbai total 4.45 billion Thai baht (about Rs 900 crore) while in Chennai, it was 7.623 billion Thai baht (about Rs 1,500 crore).
"The total trade generated by this trip is 12.075 billion Thai baht. This number is satisfactory and we consider it as a huge success for this visit", he said.
Leading a delegation from Bangkok with more than 30 companies taking part, he said the main objective of the visit was to strengthen strategic partnership with India, expand new business opportunities.
For Mumbai, the focus on partnerships was on food, construction material, logistics and real estate development. For Chennai, the focus was on rubber market from Thailand to India, he said. The deputy Prime Minister, also holding the Ministry of Commerce portfolio, said the demand for rubber from India after his discussion with rubber companies during the visit was that India requires import of about one million tonne of rubber.
"The Indian domestic industry can meet about 40 per cent of rubber but India requires 60 per cent of the demand to import rubber. So, India is a high potential market," he said.
He noted that Indian market was growing steadily as it was not affected by the trade war which was currently on with many other countries.
"So, as a result of economic expansion, your automotive and manufacturing industry, tyre and construction requires many raw materials, natural rubber and rubber-related products to expand steadily in India. One of the main raw materials that India businesses inform me was import of block rubber, compound rubber with black carbon," he said.
On the brief visit and the business delegation led by him, he said he has brought officials from Ministry of Commerce, Thailand Rubber Authority and many private sector for their business opportunities.
"I met a lot of people from the Indian Rubber Association and Tyre Manufacturers Association of India," he said.
The Deputy Prime Minister said Thailand was inviting Indian businesses to sign another memorandum of understanding in November and they would launch an initiative to launch Thai products to be available in Indian market.
"I will visit India one more time to promote Thai food and food products which has been increasingly popular in India.", he said.
On trade relations between the two countries, he said the bilateral two-way trade was at $12 billion in 2018.
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