On the 63rd Republic day, India and Thailand decided to frame a duty free agreement which can be concluded towards the middle of this year. This duty free agreement with Thailand may have far reaching consequences and may double the bilateral trade between the two countries to $14 billion by the year 2014.
Under the present terms, there is a tariff exemption on 80 items and this agreement may add some more to the list. The list of these 80 items was included in the agreement that was signed in the year 2004. Incidentally, first woman Prime Minister of Thailand Yingluck Shinawatra is the official guest at the 63rd Republic Day parade. The significance of the Indian Republic Day is that on this date in 1950, the Constitution of India was written and adapted.
The things that may be included for duty free in the proposed agreement is items from services, investment and also goods. At present, the trade between the two nations stands at $6.8 billion and both the Governments are trying to double this trade volume to $14 billion.
To speed up the process, an investor forum and a CEO forum will be set up. Each nation must rely on its own strength in matters of import and export. Thailand is strong in auto industries and electronics, while on the other hand, India has got a strong base in petrochemicals and auto industries. Thai industry minister said that India must not worry about the infrastructure caused by the floods last year.