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Five yrs after FTA, Thai goods have a free run in India

India is facing a significant trade imbalance with Thailand, after both the countries entered into an Early Harvest Program in September 2004.

, ET Bureau|
Aug 11, 2009, 01.26 AM IST
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NEW DELHI: India is facing a significant trade imbalance with Thailand, after both the countries entered into an Early Harvest Program (EHP) in September 2004. While India���s exports to Thailand have grown from $901.4 million in 2004-05 to $1.8 billion in 2007-08, Thailand���s exports to India have increased from $865 million to $2.3 billion in 2007-08 for the corresponding periods.

This shows that while India���s exports to Thailand have only doubled in the last four years, the latter has tripled its exports to India. The EHP signed in 2004 consisted a list of 82 items such as fresh mangoes, apple, grapes, crabs, semi-precious stones, jewellery, chromium ores, refrigerators, certain machinery items, TV picture tubes, among others.

The major export items to Thailand include gemstones, metal ores, chemicals, steel and products, vegetables and pharmaceutical products. The major imports from Thailand are electric & electrical goods, petroleum, crude & products, television receivers, air-conditioning, machine and parts and plastic products.

A 12- member business delegation is accompanying Minister of Commerce & Industry Anand Sharma and other government officials, consisting of Indian CEOs and industry chamber Ficci secretary general Amit Mitra to visiting Thailand this week to discuss ways and means to expand the market for Indian exports.

���India has a tremendous potential to increase its presence in the Thai market. For instance, the two countries can co-operate in areas such as pharmaceuticals, gems & jewellery, entertainment, tourism, infrastructure, hospitality & wellness, petrochemicals, IT, telecom and food products, especially marine products,��� said Ficci secretary general Amit Mitra. He further added that the countries can also look at exchanging skilled manpower in diamond and stone-cutting.
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