Thai team due in Bahrain
Delegation to attend business centre handing over ceremony
A 24-member high-level Thai delegation, headed by Thailand’s Trade Representative Sompong Amornwiwat and Mrs Srirat Rattapana, adviser to the Thai Prime Minister, will attend the handing over ceremony of Thai Business Centre (TBC) in Bahrain, Thai Ambassador to Bahrain Widhya Bhoolsuwan has said.
The delegation will arrive on three-day visit to the Kingdom on the second leg of the visit from Saudi Arabia on May 23.
The Ambassador of Thailand told Bahrain Tribune that the delegation would also hold talks with public and private sectors in Bahrain to explore ways and means to further strengthen relations between the two countries.
The delegation, which will be in Bahrain on May 23-25, will include high-level private sector delegates of Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), led by its Chairman Praphad Phodhivorakhun in addition to representatives from the Board of Investment of Thailand.
“The completion of TBC project is a major step forward. It will give a new dimension to the business ties between the two sides,” the ambassador said.
“After the opening of TBC project, members of the delegation will hold meetings with their counterparts including representatives of Promoseven Holdings, the organisation that developed TBC ,” he said.
Bhoolsuwan said that TBC would help Thai companies, businesses and investors to exhibit their products and services not only for Bahraini market but also for the entire Gulf region.
“Two-way trade between Thailand and the GCC states is worth $2.3 billion annually and TBC will help to explore ways and means to enhance the two-way trade, investment and commercial ties.
“The bilateral trade volume surged to $146 million at the end of 2004, constituting $54 million Thai exports and $92 million Bahraini exports with $38 million trade balance in favour of Bahrain.
“BTC will serve as an information centre for Bahraini business people, providing market insight and guidance regarding import and export regulations of Thailand.
“I am very happy that one of the dream projects is ready for operation, aimed at bolstering ties between the two sides. The free trade agreement (FTA) between Bahrain and Thailand will play the role of catalyst in boosting trade, commerce and investments ties. Under the FTA, Bahrain and Thailand will reduce customs duties on 626 items from 3 to 0 per cent in five to six years’ time, offering numerous growth opportunities to both the sides,” the ambassador said.
Talking about Bahrain business delegation visiting Thailand from May 16-22, he said that the embassy was expecting 10-15 Bahrain business people to join the delegation.
“At the moment, we have six confirmed participants and given the size and importance of THAIFEX and HALFEX exhibitions, the visit is very important. The events will provide a rare opportunity for the Bahraini delegation to explore business and trade ties with their prospective Thai counterparts in halal food and food processing sectors. The participants will not only be exposed to food manufacturer and exporters from Thailand, but also the world over, as the exhibition will have about 1,700 booths of 780 companies from around the world, solely dedicated to the food industry.
“Thai embassy will also arrange meetings with public and private sectors in the Thai food export industry to create networking, and to give the delegation an opportunity to see the results of Thai policies regarding halal food exports.
“The exhibition will provide a channel to explore business opportunities in the two countries. It will also encourage Thai business people to expand their business activities with Bahraini enterprises in Bahrain and vice versa,” he added.