Pact pill for Thai trade

Calcutta, March 15: A comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) between India and Thailand, likely to be concluded within three months, will increase bilateral trade to $14 billion by 2014 from around $8.6 billion in 2012.

The two countries have already implemented an early harvest scheme as part of the framework agreement to establish a free trade area.

Thailand has sought Indian investments in tourism, hospitality and food processing.

"There were 82 items mentioned in the early harvest scheme. In the second level of negotiation, we would like to include some professional services, refrigerators and other electronic items. They are being negotiated. We will like to see the negotiations conclude in the next three months," said Nalinee Taveesin, Thailand's trade representative and minister at the Prime Minister's office.

She was speaking at a session organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce here today.

India exports gems and jewellery, metal ores, chemicals, machinery, vegetables, electrical household appliances and pharmaceutical products to Thailand.

Major imports from that country include chemicals, polymers of ethylene, auto components, rubber and iron and steel.

Between April 2000 and January 2012, the Southeast Asian nation invested $94.76 million in India, which constituted 0.06 per cent of the total foreign direct investment inflows.

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