India is the big brother in the eastern region: Thai minister

India is the big brother in the eastern region: Thai minister

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 12 Mar 2019, 11:21 pm

Kolkata, Mar 12 (UNI): Thailand looks up to India as the big brother in the eastern region owing to India's size of economy and future market potential, commercial minister of Thailand Tharadol Thongruang said here today.

Briefing the media at the Bengal Chamber here on a B2B meeting in the city tomorrow, in which 30 Thai companies are participating, Tharadol said in the last two to three years, more Thai companies have shown interest in investing in India.

"We are encouraging our companies to invest in India as other east Asian companies like China, Korea and Malaysia are making successful investments here," he said.

Tharadol said he was planning to organise another B2B meeting between Thai and Indian companies in May in cities like Siliguri apart from Kolkata.

"Thai people have been more comfortable in visiting and doing business in China than India," he said but added that this trend is changing as India and Thailand are working on people-to-people relationships. "In the last few years there has been a change in the perspective of Thai people towards India."

He said six Thai companies were currently operating in India, including CP Group, Vee Rubber, Rockworth, Srithai Superware, Thai Summit, Delta Electronic, Dusit Thani and Pruksa Housing.

He said the bilateral trade between Thailand and India has seen constant rise in the last nine years.

"In 2009 the bilateral trade was USD 5,000 million and this figure has now reached USD 12,000 million," Tharadol said and added that the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between India and Thailand is acting as one of the main drivers in this development.

He also mentioned that the trade balance between India and Thailand is in favour of the latter. While Thailand exports to India are worth USD 7,000 million at present, Indian exports to Thailand is valued at USD 5,000 million.

The Thai minister also said there is continuous surge in the number of Indian tourists in Thailand.

"In 2018, 11 lakh Indian tourists visited Thailand and we are expecting at least 13 lakh - 14 lakh Indian tourists in 2019," he said.

Owing to the rising number of travellers, Thai budget carrier, Thai Smile will also start operating flights between India and Thailand in the next two to three months.

He said Thai people are also travelling beyond Bodh Gaya in India to places like Srinagar, Leh, Ladakh, Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Ajanata, Ellora caves.

Around a thousand Thai students are also receiving school and college education in Darjeeling and Kalimpong, Tharadol said.


 

India is the big brother in the eastern region: Thai minister

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