April 20, 2023
BANGKOK – Resolution of pending issues related to imports, opening up markets for agricultural and animal products and promoting health tourism are high on the agenda at the first Joint Trade Committee meeting between Thailand and India in 20 years.
Resolution of pending issues related to imports, opening up markets for agricultural and animal products and promoting health tourism are high on the agenda at the first Joint Trade Committee (JTC) meeting between Thailand and India in 20 years.
A Commerce Ministry delegation is in New Delhi for the meeting on Thursday (April 20).
Auramon Supthaweethum, director-general of the Department of Trade Negotiations, said the last JTC meeting was hosted by India in 2003.
Among other items on the agenda for discussions are resolving import restrictions, electronic certification of origin, accepting product standards, and economic cooperation (film production and health tourism).
She said the main reason for the long delay in the JTC meeting was because Thailand and India were already engaging in Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations under the Thailand-India FTA and the Asean-India FTA.
The FTA is a treaty between two or more countries with the aim to facilitate trade and eliminate trade barriers.
In 2020, both countries agreed to resume the JTC meeting as a forum to promote trade, investment, reduce trade barriers, as well as promote economic cooperation between the two nations. This JTC meeting is important in strengthening the economic relationship and promoting trade between the two parties, she said.
Over the past 20 years, India has made considerable economic development and is now the world’s fifth-largest economy with a GDP of US$3.5 trillion. It also has the largest population, with over 1.4 billion people, accounting for 17% of the world’s population.
India has also made progress in digital technology and financial reform policies, making it the 63rd easiest country to do business in 2018 out of 190 countries, according to the World Bank.
In 2018, trade between Thailand and India was valued at US$17.7 billion, an 18.06% increase over the previous year. Thailand enjoyed a trade surplus, exporting goods worth $10.5 billion to India and importing goods worth $7.2 billion. Thailand’s major exports to India included plastic pellets, fats and vegetable and animal oils, chemicals, gems and jewellery, iron, steel, and related products.
The major imports from India comprise diamonds, pearls, silver and gold bars, machinery and parts, metal ore, metal scraps, and chemicals in January-February 2023. Trade between between the two countries in the first two months of this year was worth $2.69 billion. Thailand exported goods worth $1.62 billion and imports were worth $1.07 billion.