The Italian-Thai Business Forum was established in 2015 by the initiative of the ambassador of Italy to Thailand, Francesco Saverio Nisio, in collaboration with the Board of Trade of Thailand (BoT) with the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Last year, the third Board of the Forum was held in Milan, Italy, and its success led to the signature of the MOU of Italian-Thai Business Forum by the co-chairs, Busaba Chirathivat, executive vice president of the Central Group, and Carlo Pesenti, CEO of Italmobiliare.
The ITBF has received an official political recognition by the ministers of foreign affairs of the two countries in both their meetings held in Bangkok on February 9 and Rome on March 2.
The forum is a privileged channel for high-level meetings of the Italian and Thai private sectors and also an effective platform to enhance mutual cooperation and improve economic relations between the two Countries.
The two groups represent approximately US$500 billion in total financial assets.
In 2018, the fourth meeting was hosted by Busaba Chirathivat. The Italian and Thai business community enthusiastically discussed trade and investment promotion this year.
In 2017, the trade value of the two countries has been around $3.7 billion, increasing by 0.8 per cent from the previous year.
Moreover, the forum has been a key opportunity to share detailed trade and investment news and information concerning programmes of the countries such as the Eastern Economic Corridor Development Plan under the “Thailand 4.0” scheme, aiming at revitalising and enhancing the well-known Eastern Seaboard development programme that had supported Thailand as a powerhouse for industrial production for over 30 years.
A crucial commitment of the board members has been also to further advance cooperation in vocational schools and design and to develop specific training for entrepreneurs, two areas regarded as extremely crucial by the BoT.
Last but not least, the forum has been also a special occasion to celebrate the 150th anniversary of diplomatic relation between Italy and Thailand in 2018.
The Italian board members participating in the event were Italmobiliare, Cavagna, CMC Ravenna, CNH Industrial, Danieli, Ducati, Faber Industrie, Ferrero, Generali, Leonardo Company, Pirelli, SACE, Unicredit and Vittoria, and two new members, Inalca Food and Beverage (Cremonini Group) and SAIPEM.
On the Thai side were Central Group, GPSC, Bangkok Bank, Thai Airways, Thai Summit, Singha Corporation, Mitr Phol Group, Dusit Thani, SCG, Thai Union, Thai Hua Rubber, Inoue Rubber, Von Bundit, Merchant Partners, Thaivivat and Deesawat Industries.
The next Business Forum is scheduled in 2019 in Italy.