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Thai bilateral trade could be doubled to $ 2 billion: Envoy

ISLAMABAD, 13 MAY (DNA) – A delegation of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry led by its President Atif Ikram Sheikh called on Mr. Suchart Leingsaengthong, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand and discussed with him various options for further enhancing trade relations between Pakistan and Thailand.

Addressing the ICCI delegation, Mr. Suchart Leingsaengthong, Ambassador of Thailand said that Thailand considered Pakistan an important country for strengthening economic cooperation as both countries have great potential to offer a lot to each other.

He said the current volume of bilateral trade between Pakistan and Thailand was around 1 billion dollars and added that there existed good scope to increase it to $ 2 billion by improving connectivity between their private sectors.

The Ambassador said that Pakistan and Thailand were making efforts to sign a free trade agreement and hoped that FTA would be finalized by the end of 2016. He said conclusion of FTA would not only boost trade, it would also help in strengthening ties between the two countries. He said Pakistani textiles were very popular in Thailand and it wanted to increase import of textiles products from Pakistan.

 He said given the size of Pakistan’s economy, Thailand considered it a promising country for business relations. He assured that his Embassy would facilitate businessmen in improving trade volume between the two countries.

Speaking at the occasion, Atif Ikram Sheikh, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry stressed upon the need of strong linkages between the private sectors of both countries to increase trade volume.

He said that the exchange trade delegations and holding single country exhibitions on reciprocal basis was the best way for promoting bilateral trade between Pakistan and Thailand. He said many Pakistani products including textiles, readymade garments, surgical instruments, sports goods, leather products, fruits & vegetables and many others could find good market in Thailand and it should focus on importing these products from Pakistan.

He said Thai investors should invest in Pakistan’s various sectors including infrastructure development, energy, auto parts manufacturing, food processing, packaging, gems & jewelry, tourism and hospitality.

He said close cooperation between Pakistan and Thailand would be a win-win situation for both countries as they could facilitate each other in getting better market access in their respective regions. Pakistan could facilitate Thailand in promoting trade with South and Central Asian countries whereas Thailand could help Pakistan in accessing to the ASEAN region.

He stressed that governments of both countries should work together to provide leading role to private sectors for improving bilateral trade. He assured that ICCI would like to work with Embassy of Thailand for bringing both countries even closer in trade and economic relations. DNA

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