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Thailand seeks doubling bilateral trade through FTA
Sep '08
Thailand seeks to double bilateral trade with Bangladesh to $1 billion a year and has taken efforts for the same by proposing to sign a free-trade agreement and increasing investments over the next five years.

While addressing a seminar on 'Bangladesh-Thailand: Potentials from Partnership', held on the occasion of the 36th anniversary of Dhaka-Bangkok diplomatic relations, Charivat Santaputra, Thai Deputy Secretary noted that the two countries must strive to enhance cooperation for tapping both economic and political potential to boost bilateral trade.

“We should find as many non zero-sum opportunities as possible considering our respective comparative advantage,” said Santaputra who also emphasized that mutual understanding is the sine-qua-non for improving relations between the two nations.

Mr Santaputra also reiterated that though potentials for growth are galore, the two countries have failed to hit on the umpteen opportunities laid before them. He further opined that economies of the two countries demand increased cooperation in both regional and multilateral forums with special focus on developing relations with neighboring countries like Myanmar.

However, Mr M Touhid Hossain, Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh suggested that Thailand needs to be more liberal in granting special trade opportunities to the country so that the widening trade imbalance could be kept in check.

As of now, bilateral trade between the two countries stands at US $500 million and this includes a $3.5 million Thai investment made last year in Bangladesh, registering a growth of 9 percent compared to the previous year.

The two countries have further decided to embark on heavy investments in infrastructure and according to experts from both countries, if such cooperative measures are undertaken at regular intervals, achieving economic goals and other major socio-political objective would not be a Herculean task.

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