Thailand an important Indian ally in ASEAN: Ranjan Singh

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Dr Singh also highlighted the importance of India and Thailand partnership…reports Asian Lite News

Minister of State for External Affairs Dr Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, who is in Bangkok for the North East India Festival 2022 said that Thailand is an important partner for India’s strategic partnership with ASEAN and the bilateral trade and investment between India and Thailand have been increasing during recent years.

“Thailand is now India’s fourth largest trading partner in ASEAN with total trade US$ 15.1 billion during 2021-22.”

Bilateral trade has been benefited by the ASEAN-India Trade in Good Agreement (AITIGA) implemented in January, 2010 as well as the Early Harvest Scheme between India and Thailand covering 83 products implemented since 2004, he added.

Addressing the gathering on Friday, Dr Singh said, “I am glad to join you all at this Seminar on Trade and Investment opportunities between North East India and Thailand today being organized as part of the 2nd edition of North East India Festival.”

He added, “North East India is the gateway to Thailand and other South East Asian countries. Commerce, Culture and Connectivity are the focus areas of cooperation between India and Thailand.”

He also maintained that the ‘Act West’ policy of Thailand complements India’s ‘Act East’ Policy and have contributed to consolidating multifaceted bilateral relations including economic, cultural and educational, science and technology and people-to-people linkages.

“India and Thailand traditionally enjoy close ties based on age-old social and cultural interaction and Ramayana and Buddhism linking and influencing our two cultures. The policies of Thailand and India.

Dr Singh also highlighted the importance of India and Thailand partnership.

Speaking about the need for engagement between the two countries, Dr Singh said, “The strategic location of North-Eastern States in the vicinity of South East Asia offers a huge opportunity for robust commercial engagement between the two sides.

On the policy reforms front, he said, “Other major policy reforms of Indian Government include; Single Window Clearance System (NSWS) to provide a single platform to enable investors to identify and obtain approvals and clearances needed by investors, entrepreneurs, and businesses in India; Easing of Norms for Foreign Investment in Start-ups, Gati Shakti project worth around USD 1.3 trillion for national infrastructure master plan; India Industrial Land Bank to enable investors to scout for available industrial land plots in India.”

“As a result of the new policy reforms and initiatives along with continued liberalization of FDI regime, GST reforms, reforms in corporate tax, improvement in innovation eco-system and competitiveness, India jumped 79 positions in last five years and currently ranks 63rd in the ease of doing business ranking of the World Bank and India ranks 46th in the Global Innovation Index 2021 ranking of World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

India is the 3rd biggest Start-up Hub in the World. India received FDI of US$ 81.72 billion during FY 2020-21. India’s total global exports have reached around USD 420 billion in 2021-22, he added.

North Eastern States of India with rich flora and fauna produce variety of exotic fruits, flowers, high value spices, and numerous species of medicinal and aroma.

He said that Government of India has specially allocated funds to the tune of rupees one lakh thirty- four thousand crores for developing a number of infrastructure projects to improve connectivity throughout the region.

“It includes 20 railway projects worth USD 9.28 billion (₹74,000 crore) for 2,011 km spreading across the North-East. Government is also developing 4,000 km of roads in the region at a total cost of USD 7.27 billion (₹58,000 crore) and 15 ongoing air connectivity projects in the North-East, costing around USD 0.27 billion (₹ 2,200 crore).”

While talking about strengthening the relationship between two countries further, he said, “the business leaders of both the countries have to play an important role in taking forward the economic relations between the two countries and the region. I trust that this Seminar will provide the useful platform for sharing information and establishing contacts between the business community of the two sides.” (India News Network)

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