May 11, 2013 00:00
By Petchanet Pratruangkrai
Thailand and Mozambique aim to strengthen their ties on trade and investment.
After meeting with Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom in Bangkok yesterday,
Mozambican Foreign Minister Oldemiro Baloi said his country expected closer cooperation in the government-to-government and private-to-private sectors.
The two countries will sign a memorandum of understanding on trade and investment and have also agreed to exchange delegations.
A team from Thailand is expected to visit the African country next month, Baloi said.
He added that Mozambique offered Thailand better export potential as well as investment opportunities.
Amparwon Pichalai, deputy director-general of the International Trade Promotion Department, said Mozambique was interested taking advantage of Thailand’s capabilities in several sectors. For instance, it wanted Thailand to help develop its agricultural sector.
In addition, she said, Mozambique was also a good source of raw materials, especially jewellery and ore. However, she said, some laws are blocking the import of these materials to Thailand.
She added that Thailand was seeking to strengthen ties, which should eliminate this barrier.
Other sectors that Mozambique has shown interest in are medicines and medical services, as well as farming and industrial development.
According to the Thai Commerce Ministry, bilateral trade between the two countries came to US$180.23 million (Bt5.36 billion) last year, an increase by 5.17 per cent from 2011. Thailand gained a big trade surplus with Mozambique, with exports valued at $163.48 million last year.
Major export goods are rice, plastic, automobiles and parts, steel, sugar, garments, cement, processed foods and rubber products.
Products imported from Mozambique include ore, yarn, aquacultural products, wood, jewellery, silver and gold.