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India and Thailand Pledge to Enhance Bilateral Trade in 7th Foreign Office Consultations

India and Thailand reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening bilateral trade during the 7th Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) held in Bangkok on Monday, August 7, 2023. High-ranking officials from both countries participated in the event, which marked a pivotal moment in their diplomatic relations. The discussions were led by delegations headed by the Indian Secretary (East), the Ministry of External Affairs, and the Thai Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs. They focused on a range of issues, including trade, investment, security cooperation, connectivity, health, culture, science and technology, and regional stability. The bilateral talks were held in a cordial atmosphere, highlighting the mutual respect and understanding that underpin the relationship between the two nations.

One of the key outcomes of the consultations was the unanimous decision to elevate trade relations to new heights. Both India and Thailand expressed their shared interest in boosting trade volumes and expanding the range of products traded between the two nations. In this regard, the officials acknowledged the positive impact of existing economic agreements and pledged to explore new avenues for collaboration. The Indian delegation emphasized the potential for increased exports of pharmaceuticals, information technology services, textiles, and agricultural products to Thailand. Likewise, Thai officials highlighted their intent to strengthen exports of automotive components, electronics, and consumer goods to the Indian market.

To facilitate smoother trade flows, the two nations agreed to work on simplifying trade procedures and reducing tariff barriers. Furthermore, they acknowledged the significance of digital commerce in today’s global economy and expressed their intention to enhance cooperation in the digital sector, including e-commerce and fintech. Both sides also underscored the importance of connectivity in the Indo-Pacific region and the broader Asian context. They discussed the progress of ongoing infrastructure projects and explored possibilities for future collaborations in this area, which would not only enhance trade but also promote regional economic development.

In addition to economic matters, the discussions touched on security and regional stability. Both nations reiterated their commitment to combating terrorism and promoting maritime security in the region. They acknowledged the necessity of a rules-based international order and reaffirmed their mutual support for upholding global norms and international law. The 7th Foreign Office Consultations concluded with a joint statement that encapsulated the spirit of cooperation and partnership between India and Thailand. The two sides expressed their optimism about the prospects for their bilateral relationship and committed to further dialogue to implement the discussed initiatives.

The successful outcome of the 7th FOC signifies a shared dedication to enhancing diplomatic, economic, and strategic ties between India and Thailand. As both nations look to the future, this landmark event sets the stage for a stronger and more prosperous partnership that will undoubtedly benefit not only the two countries but also the wider region.