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Thailand ready to boost trade with Russia to $10 billion: Jurin


Thailand and Russia are ready to boost bilateral trade to US$10 billion next year, Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit said on Saturday.

Jurin was speaking after talks with Russia's Economic Development Minister Maxim Reshetnikov on the sidelines of the Apec meeting in Bangkok.

He said details of the new trade ties would be ironed out at the upcoming fifth meeting of the Thailand-Russia trade and economic cooperation subcommittee.

Jurin said Thailand was also working on finalising its free trade agreement with Eurasia, comprising Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

The Thai embassy in Switzerland was coordinating relations with these countries, he added.

Meanwhile, Jurin confirmed that Thai banks had shown interest in Russia's proposal to introduce the Mir payment system for Russian tourists in Thailand. He also pledged to coordinate with the Tourism and Transport ministries to facilitate direct flights from Russia.

On trade, he said Russia was interested in importing more Thai products, especially food and automobiles. Moscow is also keen to expand investment in Thailand, especially in IT, and had also invited Thais to invest in Russia, he added.

Last year, trade between Thailand and Russia was worth $2.7 billion, with Thai exports rising 41 per cent year on year to $1.02 billion. Thailand exports autos and auto components, tyres, machinery, and canned and processed fruits to Russia. Thailand’s trade deficit with Russia last year was driven by imported crude oil, fertilisers, pesticides and steel.

Thailand ready to boost trade with Russia to $10 billion: Jurin

Reshetnikov also praised Thailand for allowing a free exchange of opinions during the Apec trade ministers meeting in Bangkok on Saturday.

He added that the walkout by representatives of the United States and four other Apec members – Japan, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – in protest at Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had solved nothing.

He also declined to say whether President Vladimir Putin would participate in November’s Apec summit hosted by Thailand.

Published : May 22, 2022

By : THE NATION