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New Thai-UK trade body to hold first meeting

BANGKOK: The Thai-UK Business Leadership Council, formed in mid-July with the aim of fostering trade and investment between the two countries, will hold its first meeting in October.

tourism, economics, politics,

Bangkok Post

Thursday 4 August 2016, 11:22AM

Thai Prime Minister’s Special Envoy Virasakdi Futrakul (left) and UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Thailand Mark Garnier MP sign the agreement to launch the Thai-UK Business Leadership Council on July 12.
Thai Prime Minister’s Special Envoy Virasakdi Futrakul (left) and UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Thailand Mark Garnier MP sign the agreement to launch the Thai-UK Business Leadership Council on July 12.

Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak said the meeting will be held in Thailand to look for creative ways to encourage Thai and British businesses to build new and innovative partnerships, as well as encourage the governments of both countries to foster bilateral trade and investment.

He said Britain is in the process of exiting from the European Union, thus it is the right time to hold the business leadership council meeting and strengthen economic cooperation.

Mark Garnier, Britain’s newly-appointed minister at the Department for International Trade, met the Thai deputy prime minister last Friday (July 29) to discuss economic cooperation, bilateral trade and investment between the two states.

Mr Somkid said Thailand is the first country Mr Garnier has visited in his current role.

He added that both Thailand and Britain had agreed to conduct bilateral talks once Britain officially exits from the EU.

Mr Somkid said Thai companies are looking for investment opportunities and technology from Britain, while British companies are eager to build new partnerships both in Thailand and with Thai companies operating in third countries such as Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.

British firms are also interested in investing in aviation, bio-economy, fintech and education.

United Services Phuket

Britain ranks as Thailand's 19th-largest trade partner in the world and Thailand's second-largest trade partner in Europe.

Thailand’s trade value with Britain was registered at US$6.4 billion (B223 billion) last year, down 6.1% from $6.8 billion in 2014.

For the first six months of this year, two-way trade between Thailand and Britain totalled $2.72 billion, with exports from Thailand accounting for $1.8 billion for the period, down 6.21% year-on-year.

Key exports include processed chicken, cars and car parts, electrical circuits, motorcycles and parts, gems and jewellery, machinery and parts, air conditioners and parts, canned and processed seafood, plastic products and garments.


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