Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: Bilateral trade between India and Thailand has grown four-fold in the last five years, Chana Kanaratanadilok, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Commerce, Thailand, said here on Tuesday.

Speaking at a meeting between Indian businessmen and a business delegation from Thailand, Mr. Kanaratanadilok said the Free Trade Agreement between India and Thailand was signed in 2003. At that time, trade between the two countries was worth $1.5 billion.

Three years after the agreement was signed it rose to $6 billion.

In the next two years it is expected to touch $10 billion.

Under the FTA between India and Thailand, 82 products of various sectors have been identified for both import and export.

Agricultural products, automobile parts, electrical appliances and plastic products were some of them, which could be imported or exported between the two countries, as part of the agreement, he said.

A team of businessmen led by Mr Kanaratanadilok would visit various markets in the city to study about local people’s requirements and the products they like the most, he said.

Representatives from eight different sectors have come from Thailand. They represented the footwear industry, kid’s furniture, artificial flowers and leaves, humidity control, fish industry, fruits and preserved food, he said.

R. Ramamurthy, convener of the Tamil Nadu State Council of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), explained how businessmen from different parts of the world were showing interest in setting up units in the State.

Only last week a group of toy manufacturers from Thailand had visited Chennai, said D.V.Venkatagiri, Director, Tamil Nadu State Council of FICCI.