Thailand to boost economic ties with northeast


Agartala : Thailand is keen to invest in sectors like tourism, infrastructure, food processing and agro-based industries in India's northeast, Thailand Commerce Minister Krirk-Krai Jirapaet said Saturday.

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"We are willing to further develop this part of the Southeast Asian region," Jirapaet told reporters.

The Thai minister, accompanied by India's Minister for Development of Northeast Region Mani Shankar Aiyar and Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh, was here to work out modalities for setting up businesses and possible areas of collaboration in the northeast.

"We took the challenge to further improve economic and cultural ties with India, especially with the northeastern states," Jirapaet said.

Thailand's annual trade with China is $25 billion, which is seven times higher than that of the India-Thailand trade, the visiting minister said.

"Thai businessmen and investors have shown their interest to develop and invest in the field of food processing, rubber, tourism, agro-based and gas based industries, horticulture, handloom and handicrafts, power, inland water ways, besides infrastructure development," Jirapaet said.

A team of entrepreneurs and investors from Thailand would visit the northeast region in August to finalise the specific areas of cooperation and investment.

"Thailand's leading food processing industry C P Group and other infrastructure developers have decided to talk directly to the Tripura government to take up projects in these sectors," he added.

"The central government is infusing a huge amount of money towards upgrading infrastructure in all sectors including connectivity in the region and this represented a huge opportunity for the Thai businessmen," said Aiyar.

The Thai delegation, accompanied by Indian ministers and officials, would also visit Guwahati and Shillong for discussions before ending their trip June 25.