CHINA, THAILAND TO WIPE OUT TRADE OBSTACLES
Wednesday December 21, 2005
CHIANG RAI, Dec 21 Asia Pulse - Thailand and China have begun a joint meeting in the former’s northern city of Chiang Rai to strengthen ties and wipe out trade obstacles, hoping to increase bilateral trade under the free trade area (FTA) framework.
Presiding over the seminar on Sino-Thai Trade, Investment and Economic Cooperation on Tuesday, Deputy Commerce Minister Preecha Laohapongchana said the meeting would focus on the import and export of fruits and vegetables of the two countries.
He said Yunnan Governor Liu Ping led a team of more than 100 business persons to meet Thai counterparts to negotiate for the trade and investment cooperation.
The talk would stress on how to solve problems and obstacles on the fruit and vegetable import and export.
The Sino-Thai trade under the FTA had increased to more than US$8 billion in the first ten months of this year, from US$7.12 billion since October 1, 2003.
He said cooperation and mutual visits by delegations of each side would help boost bilateral trade and investment and ease possible misunderstanding of the agreement and obstacles to trade.
"We believe each seminar and mutual visit of the two sides will help increase trade and investment value to no less than US$50 billion and US$5-6 billion respectively as targeted over the next five years.
It will also help raise the number of tourists to no more than 4 million in the period," he said.
Mr. Preecha expressed confidence that the establishment of the Sino-Thai FTA would not put Thailand’s trade balance in deficit as many concerned.
He said Thailand had enjoyed a surplus with China of more than 9 billion baht in the fruit and vegetable trade since the FTA was established in October 2003.