“It took me two hours to get here from the airport. It is confirmed. You have lousy infrastructure.”
This is not just another foreign visitor grumbling about the roads in Mumbai. It is the first impression of the Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand, Korbsak Sabhavasu on his first visit to the city.
The Thai deputy PM was in India to discuss possibilities of increasing bilateral trade between India and Thailand. He was in New Delhi on Wednesday and in Mumbai on Thursday.
“Things need to be done here and you can’t do it alone,” said Sabhavasu, addressing a gathering of businessmen at the Taj Mahal Hotel in south Mumbai on Thursday. “(Industries) Minister Kamal Nath said he is looking for help on better infrastructure. We can do just that for you.”
Sabhavasu highlighted Thailand’s keenness to be part of India’s infrastructural progress. “We have sophisticated technology and the ability of our construction crew…,” he said. “We can help with competitive pricing and good job quality.”
The 60-year-old said that Thailand was also looking at the Indian film industry as a potential revenue generator.
“It is an indirect way of advertising the country,” he said, interacting with journalists later. “We can provide filmmakers pre and post production facilities at competitive costs.”
He also said that given that India ‘the elephant’ and China ‘ the dragon’ consume large quantities of energy, Thailand would like to export alternative energy sources like tapioca pellets from which it extracts ethanol.