Thailand and Iran have agreed on reviving bilateral economic and trade relations, covering food and energy security, with two-way trade set to reach 3 billion USD by 2021, according to Thai News Agency (TNA), source from Vietnam News in Bangkok.
Thai Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn told reporters on October 10, after the First Iran-Thailand Joint Trade Committee (JTC) Meeting in Bangkok, that his country can support food security in Iran and can be a gateway for Iran to the growing markets of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, known as the CLMV group in the ASEAN Community (AC).
Meanwhile, Iran can support energy security in Thailand and can be a gateway for Thailand to countries in the land-locked Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), where there are over 300 million consumers.
Both sides agreed to conduct a feasibility study on the Preferential Trading Arrangement (PTA), expected to be completed by mid-2017, he added.
Besides, Iran is looking into the Thai rice standard in order to start importing the product as soon as possible, while Thailand targets to export 700,000 tonnes of rice to Iran annually.
In return, Thailand is ready to import crude oil and natural gas from Iran and wants to invest in energy businesses in the Middle East country, including alternative energy projects.
The Thai minister noted that Tehran and Bangkok will restore energy cooperation based on a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed in 2004 and Thailand will host a joint energy meeting early next year.
During the JTC meeting, both sides also agreed to enhance cooperation on the Halal standard and tourism, along with discussing a clear guideline on payment mechanisms to facilitate trade and investment between the two countries.
Currently, Iran is Thailand’s ninth largest trading partner in the Middle East and bilateral trade last year stood at 310 million USD with Thailand gaining a trade surplus.