India and Thailand expect to conclude negotiations for a comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) by the end of this year, aimed at doubling bilateral trade between the two countries by 2014.
“We are currently engaged in negotiating a India-Thailand FTA, which will embrace in its fold, investment, services and trade in goods, and we are committed to conclude negotiations by end of this year,” said Anand Sharma, commerce and industry minister at the business meeting with Thai prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Tuesday.
“Through these steps, the bilateral trade between the countries will be doubled by 2014,” Sharma said.
Vejjajiva urged business leaders of both countries to raise bilateral trade to $10 billion (R45,000 crore) in the next two years from $6.7 billion (R30,150 crore) at present.
“There is an inexorable force pushing trade and investment. Last year alone, investment applications from India received at Thailand's board of investment were valued at $60 million (R270 crore),” said Vejajjiva, while addressing industry captains at a meeting jointly organised by FICCI, CII and ASSOCHAM.
He said Thailand’s “Look- West Policy” has set the stage in “consolidating our substantive bilateral engagement.”