Economic & commercial linkages form an important aspect of Thailand’s partnership with India. The past few years have seen a rapid intensification of these linkages between the two countries.
Bilateral trade has grown significantly and has multiplied more than four times between 2004 to 2014 or from 2.05 to 8.65 billion USD. The Trade figure in 2014 includes Thai exports worth 5.62 billion USD and Thai imports worth 3.04 billion USD. India ranks 10th as export destination for Thailand and overall 16th trading partner of Thailand.
A major factor lies in the implementation of Early Harvest Scheme (EHS) under the Framework Agreement for Establishing Free Trade Area between Thailand and India which was signed in October 2003. The operation of EHS containing 82 products commenced on 1 September 2004. The second protocol to amend the Framework Agreement was signed during the visit of Thai Prime Minister to India in January 2012 to include the 83th product to the EHS. At present, Thailand and India are in a process of negotiating a comprehensive FTA, covering trade in goods, investment, services and economic cooperation, which would further boost and strengthen the bilateral economic ties.
Major items of Thai exports to India include: chemicals; plastics and articles thereof; gems and jewelry; A/C and A/C parts; internal combustion engine with piston; auto and auto parts; iron, steel and products thereof; rubbers; electrical machinery and parts; computers and computer parts.
Major Items of Thai imports from India include: chemicals; boats and floating constructions; auto parts; electrical machinery and parts; precious, semi-precious stones, silver and gold; plants and products of plants; ore, remnant of iron and products thereof; iron, steel and products thereof; medicinal & pharmaceutical products; thread and fiber.
Investment by Indian and Thai companies into each others’ countries is growing. In 2014, Board of Investment of Thailand received applications for investment promotion for 22 projects from India with total investment of 2,479 million baht (76 million USD). 13 projects were approved with total investment of 2,016 million baht, ranked 22th of investment from abroad. For the past ten years, Thailand has invested over 164.5 million USD in India. During 2014-15, Thailand’s investment in India ranks 35th and 4th within ASEAN, after Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
Thai business groups in India include leading Thai companies in the fields of Agro-processing, construction, automotive, engineering and banking. Major Thai companies active in India include Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group, Italian-Thai Development (ITD), Delta Electronics, Rockworth Office Furniture, Krung Thai Bank, Thai Summit Auto, Pruksa Real Estate, Thai Airways International, and SCG Trading.
From the Indian side, Indo Rama group, the Aditya Birla Group, Tata Group, Ranbaxy, Dabur, Lupin, NIIT are among major Indian companies doing business in Thailand and reflecting the diverse sectors of interest, which are chemicals, textiles, pharmaceuticals, steel, automotive, and IT. Groups like Aditya Birla and Indo Rama have had business presence in Thailand for several decades. The Tata group has growing business interest in Thailand with Tata Motors forming a joint venture with Thonburi Automotive Assembly Plant Co. to form Tata Motors (Thailand), which has launched a pickup truck in the Thai market in March 2008; Tata Steel having invested in the largest Thai steel manufacturer Millennium Steel to create Tata Steel Thailand; and Tata Consultancy Services having a long presence. Several Indian Public Sector companies are also present in Thailand, including Indian Overseas Bank, Bank of Baroda, and New India Assurance.
The Royal Thai Embassy in New Delhi, together with Thai government agency representations all over India, has worked toward the further deepening and diversification of Thailand-India ties and has contributed to promoting the economic linkages by organizing a series of business seminar on economic cooperation, business road shows as well as the annual events to promote Thai businesses and culture such as “Destination Thailand”.
The Embassy also runs a website to provide latest news and analyses on business opportunities both in Thailand and India to promote business relations between business communities of the two nations. For further details, please visit www.thaiindia.net