Thailand’s economic reforms and investment and development minister Kobsak Pootrakool has said his country gives priority to Bangladesh when deciding on investment and trade and Thai businesses want to invest in infrastructure, power, energy and other potential sectors in Bangladesh.
‘We are considering our visit to Bangladesh as one of the opportunities for the Thai business community to be close to Bangladesh,’ the visiting Thai minister said at a business dialogue at the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Dhaka on Thursday.
The minister is leading a 35-member high-powered business delegation that includes secretary general of Thailand Board of Investment to Bangladesh.
Kobsak said no one could ignore the Bangladesh market with 160 million people.
Bangladesh’s economy is growing fast for last 10-15 years and Thailand believes that Bangladesh would be a big economic power in near future, he said.
The Thai minister emphasised establishing connectivity between the two countries for ensuring smooth shipment of goods and services.
Emphasising the need for a deep sea port to import more goods from Bangladesh, Kobsak said it takes 22 days to receive import goods from Bangladesh via Singapore deep sea port.
The Thai minister said that they were going to establish a deep sea port at Rano in Thailand and when the port would be ready it would take only four days to import or export products between Bangladesh and Thailand.
‘We are also thinking for road connectivity and we are interested to join the Bangladesh–China–India–Myanmar Forum for Regional Cooperation (BCIM),’ Kobsak said.
FBCCI president Md Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin urged the Thai businesses to invest in agro-based industry, leather, ICT, ceramics, textile and petrochemical sectors in Bangladesh.
‘The FBCCI will provide all-out support to the interested Thai investors if they want to establish joint ventures,’ he said.
Mohiuddin said that Bangladesh’s economy was growing fast and it was the right time for the Thai businesses to choose it as their investment destination.
Sadia Muna Tasneem, Bangladesh’s ambassador to Thailand, called upon the Thai companies to invest in the Bangladesh’s tourism sector.
Sadia also said that high duty structure of Bangladesh on Thai products was one of the major issues for bilateral trade and a technical committee was working on the tariff structure as discussion on a free trade agreement between the two countries was progressing.
According to the official data, Bangladesh’s export to Thailand in the financial year 2016-17 amounted to $48.57 million while the import was $781.60 million in the fiscal.
Bangladesh mainly imports plastics and rubber, mineral products and chemicals from Thailand.