India-Thailand FTA by middle of 2012

January 25th, 2012 - 9:10 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 25 (IANS) Thailand Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra Wednesday said India and Thailand will finalise by the middle of 2012 a free trade agreement and upgrade the pact to a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA), opening trade in services and investments.

“In my discussion with Prime Minister (Manmohan) Singh, we will work together to finalise FTA by middle of this year. This will cut the tariff on remaining products,” Yingluck said in her address to an industry event here.

She is scheduled to hold talks with Singh this evening.

Two-way trade between India and Thailand in the last 10 years had increased from $1 billion to $7 billion, due to an “early harvest” pact that limits trade barriers to only 82 sensitive items.

“This is why the two governments are setting up a goal to double the bilateral trade to $14 billion in 2014,” the visiting premier, who is chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations Thursday, said.

She invited Indian business people to invest in Thailand which is expected to clock a gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of five percent.

“Our fundamentals are strong and we expect a five percent economic growth this year. Our consumption is growing and the government is pushing to increase demand.”

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