Economy, Domestic Economy

Bangkok Seeks Broader Tehran Ties

Bangkok Seeks Broader Tehran TiesBangkok Seeks Broader Tehran Ties

Thailand’s government has given priority to investment in small- and medium-sized enterprises and seeks cooperation with Iran in this regard, said the Southeast Asian country’s deputy commerce minister.

Suvit Maesincee made the statement in a Monday meeting with the head of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, Mohsen Jalalpour.

Referring to the fact that relations between the two countries have undergone a sea change over the past three years, the Thai official hoped for strong economic ties that would go beyond mere exchange of goods.

“We need to set our sights on investments aimed at sustainable development,” he said.

Maesincee also expressed his country’s readiness to invest in the infrastructure of Iran’s rural areas and production of natural rubber, agricultural produce and rail transport.

“Thailand is the gateway to Asia and can pave the way for Iran’s entry to the 600-million market of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations,” he added.

ASEAN is a political and economic organization of 10 Southeast Asian countries. It was formed in 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Since then, membership has expanded to include Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.

Jalalpour said Iran accounts for less than 0.05% of Thailand’s $200-billion market and the Southeast Asian country’ share of Iran’s $87 billion yearly imports stands at $115 million (0.13%).

“It’s our expectation to see annual bilateral trade reach $1 billion in three years’ time,” he said.

Noting that tourism and transportation are among fields where the two countries can bolster their cooperation, Jalalpour said ICCIMA is ready to set the stage for the cooperation of their respective private sectors.

An Iran visit by Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak is scheduled for December.