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Bangladesh-Thailand FTA talks imminent: Humayun

Staff Correspondent
10 Jul 2024 20:55:39 | Update: 10 Jul 2024 20:55:39
Bangladesh-Thailand FTA talks imminent: Humayun
Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun and Thai Ambassador to Bangladesh Makawadee Sumitmor inaugurate the ‘Top Thai Brands’ trade fair 2024 at the Grand Ballroom of Pan Pacific Sonargaon Dhaka on Wednesday —Courtesy Photo

Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun on Wednesday stated that the bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Thailand, built on strong bonds of civilisation, culture, and language, have reached new heights.

During Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to Thailand in April this year, leaders from both countries emphasised strengthening bilateral trade and investment and stressed the need to commence negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) at the earliest opportunity, he said.

“The FTA is expected to boost bilateral trade and investment significantly between our two countries,” said Humayun while addressing the inauguration ceremony of the "Top Thai Brands" trade fair 2024 as the chief guest at the Grand Ballroom of Pan Pacific Sonargaon Dhaka.

The event was jointly organised by the Royal Thai Embassy, Dhaka, and the Thai Trade Center. The four-day festival (July 10 – July 13) will be open daily from 10am to 8pm.

The event was chaired by Thai Ambassador to Bangladesh Makawadee Sumitmor, with special guest speeches from Thai Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission and Minister Counsellor Phanom Thongprayum and Minister Counsellor (Commercial) Khemathat Archawathamrong.

Humayun remarked, “Thailand is an extremely important trading partner for Bangladesh in the ASEAN region. Bilateral trade between the two countries has been growing steadily over the years. The current volume of bilateral trade is US$1.2 billion, with significant potential for further growth."

He added, “We can increase cooperation in agriculture and food processing and work to improve infrastructure and connectivity. In particular, a direct shipping route can be established between Ranong Port in Thailand and Chattogram Port in Bangladesh.”

“Through enhanced mutual cooperation and partnership, Bangladesh and Thailand are ready to work together to achieve greater prosperity and development. Bangladesh is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world and offers a business-friendly environment for foreign investors," Humayun stated.

The minister further mentioned that to fully utilise the potential of bilateral trade, Bangladesh aims to expand the export of readymade garments (RMG), pharmaceuticals, frozen food, cables, rice, agricultural products, handicrafts, jute, potatoes and ceramics to Thailand.

“Bangladesh also seeks to import various skills from Thailand in the fields of food production and processing, canning, packaging, IT, tourism, medical tourism, and capacity building of healthcare professionals,” he added.

Notably, 64 Thai companies and Thai product importers in Bangladesh are participating in this fair. Various types of world-class Thai products are being displayed, including food products, jewellery, healthcare items, cosmetics, bedding, spa products, electronic equipment, textiles, underwear, stationery, and household products.