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Jun 01, 2020 PRINT EDITION
  • Thai government, through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has been providing annual international training course, short course programmes and scholarships to Pakistan.
  • Thailand exported goods and services worth US$1174.25 million to Pakistan. Among these included automobiles, crude oil, chemicals, rubber products, machinery and polymer, etc.
  • Pakistan must enhance its exports, particularly in textile sector to balance the bilateral trade.

FAISALABAD: Political consultation at secretary level and meetings of Joint Economic Commission will be held during this year to fortify economic relations between Pakistan and Thailand, said Consul General of Thailand in Karachi Thatree Chauvachata.

Addressing the business community at Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FCCI) here Thursday, he expressed satisfaction over the political, economic and diplomatic relations between the two countries and said that Pakistan had actively been participating in Asian Cooperation Dialogue while Thailand also supported Pakistan in its entry to ASEAN Regional Forum.

“In 2004, both countries signed an MoU [Memorandum of Understanding] on anti-terrorism and other related issues," he said and added that they had also established a working group to further strengthen mutual cooperation for exchange of intelligence. He said that the Thai government, through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has been providing annual international training course, short course programmes and scholarships to various countries including Pakistan in the field of economy, food security, public health and climate change. “As many as 11 Pakistani officials had received the training during 2018,” he added.

Regarding trade relations, he said that Pakistan was one of Thailand’s significant trade and commerce partner. “In 2019, the bilateral trade between two countries jumped to US$1466.63 million," he said adding that Thailand exported goods and services worth US$1174.25 million to Pakistan. Among these included automobiles, crude oil, chemicals, rubber products, machinery and polymer, etc. “Similarly Pakistani export to Thailand recorded an increase of  41.45% in 2019,” he said. The export items included fresh aquatic animals, garments and textile, etc, he added.

About Thai investment in Pakistan, he said that Pakistan ranks 36th of Thailand in global trade while it ranked second in South Asia. He said that four major Thai companies had already invested in Pakistan while another four were exploring new opportunities in Pakistan. “Recently, Pakistan’s Electro-Polymers Private Limited and Thai Stanley Electric Public Company Limited inked a historic partnership by signing international Tri-party Joint Venture with Japan, Thailand and Pakistan."

He said that Thailand and Pakistan had been discussing Free Trade Agreement (FTA) since 2013 and hopefully it would be finalised soon. Moreover, a delegation of the Thailand Board of Investment visited Pakistan in June and had detailed meetings with the Federal Board of Investment, State Bank of Pakistan and other related departments.

Responding to a question, he said that Thailand was a major destination for tourists and last year around 80,000 Pakistani tourists visited Thailand.

Earlier, FCCI Senior Vice President Zafar Iqbal Sarwar, in his address of welcome, said that bilateral trade balance was in favour of Thailand and hence, Pakistan must enhance its exports, particularly in textile sector to balance the bilateral trade.

Earlier, a documentary on Faisalabad and FCCI was screened while Engineer Asim Muneer, Engineer Babar Shehzad, Azhar Chaudhry, Haji Gulzar Ahmed and Talat Mehmood participated in question-answer session.

Later, Zafar Iqbal Sarwar presented the FCCI shield to Thatree Chauvachata, while Vice President Bilal Waheed Sheikh offered vote of thanks.