Prime Minister of Thailand Abhisit Vejjajiva on Wednesday made an impassioned plea to Indian business leaders to choose Thailand as their destination for investment promising to make significant cuts in corporate income-tax rates.

Addressing a luncheon meeting with captains of industry from India and Thailand, Mr. Vejjajiva called upon them to cash in on the economic complementarities offered by the two countries to raise bilateral trade to $10 billion in the next two years.

To increase the attractiveness of his country as an investment destination, Mr. Vejjajiva proposed to significantly cut corporate income-tax rates and sought Indian participation in sectors such as pharmaceuticals, auto parts, chemicals, software and ICT.

Emphasising that the Thailand market for medical equipment was around $800 million, the Thailand Prime Minister hoped that being a world leader in manufacture of drugs and in modern healthcare India would cash in on the opportunity.

Noting that investment applications from India were valued at $60 million last year alone, Mr. Vejjajiva hoped that the inexorable force pushing trade between the two countries would result in more applications for investments in his country.

In return, he wanted investment opportunities for Thai businessmen in sectors such as construction, food processing and services in India.

Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma, on his part, assured of India's commitment to conclude negotiations with Thailand for the proposed comprehensive free trade pact by year-end with the objective of doubling bilateral trade by 2014.

The FTA will include investment, services and trade in goods.

Mr. Sharma hoped that Thailand would take interest in infrastructure, agro-processing and jewellery, cold chains and warehouses, bamboo and rubber industry.

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