Kolkata, May 19: The two-way trade between India and Thailand is estimated to reach approximately USD 10 million by 2010, registering an increase of almost 150 per cent since the signing of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries in 2006.
Speaking at an interactive session with a business delegation from Board of Investment, Thailand, organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC), here today, Consul General of Thailand H E Manop Mekprayoonthong said, '' The Thai delegation held a meeting with the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC) as well as representatives of various sectors, including steel, petrochemicals, food processing, agro-industries and tourism, this morning. '' He informed that with the West Bengal government looking to expand the petrochemicals industry in the state and set up hubs similar to the Haldia Petrochemicals in other nearby areas, the Thai entrepreneurs were keen to invest and explore the business opportunities.
The delegation, comprising senior members of the Thailand government's Board of Investment and the Bangkok Bank, will be on a five-day tour of Eastern India from May 19 to explore the business opportunities and investment potential in Eastern India in various sectors.
Leader of the Delegation Sisirak Busayarat said, '' The food processing industry shall be one of the major areas of thrust during our tour of Eastern India and we are looking to share our expertise in this sector with the Indian entrepreneurs. We are also looking at setting up joint ventures and the Bangkok Bank will be assisting both importers and exporters by providing finance, loans and other infrastructure. '' ICC North East Council Chairman M K Saharia informed that the Chamber had organised the NE Business Summit in Thailand from October 1-4 last year, which was attended by the Chief Ministers of five NE states, DoNER Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar, besides entrepreneurs and other important officials both from the public and private sector.
He said the Thai delegation was also scheduled to visit Durgapur, North Bengal, Siliguri and Darjeeling during the course of its tour.
He also informed that the Thailand Commerce Minister had also visited the NE in the recent past during which as many as 34 projects, requiring investment to the tune of almost USD one billion, were negotiated with the NE state governments as well as private entrpreneurs.