August 10, 2020

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Thailand and India to Enhance Digital Links

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Leaders from Thailand and India recently met to discuss ways to enhance physical and digital connectivity between them as well as identifying areas for cooperation in fields such as agriculture, science and technology, and information technology.

The issues were discussed in the 8th Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) between India’s External Affairs Minister and his Thai counterpart.

The Ministers had a restricted bilateral meeting, which was followed by delegation-level talks. During the meetings, both sides reviewed the progress made in all areas of the bilateral relationship, including political, defence and security, economic and commercial, connectivity, cultural, tourism and people-to-people ties.

Both sides noted that India and Thailand are close maritime neighbours having historical and cultural linkages. In the contemporary context, India’s ”Act East” policy is complemented by Thailand’s ”Look West” policy.

During the meeting, both sides noted that bilateral trade has grown by 20 percent last year and the investment is also growing. Both sides decided to hold the next meeting of the Joint Trade Committee to discuss ways and means to enhance trade and investment.

The Ministers also discussed ways to enhance connectivity between the two countries including in the areas of physical and digital connectivity as well as identified areas for cooperation in the field of agriculture, science and technology, space, human resource development, capacity building, information technology.

They also exchanged views on regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest, including cooperation in Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Indian-Ocean Rim Association (IORA), Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC), UN and other sub-regional and international organizations.

The understandings and decisions of the JCM were concluded in the form of Agreed Minutes of the Joint Commission, which were signed by the two Ministers. Both Ministers also witnessed the signing of MOU between the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) of India’s Ministry of External Affairs and the Devawongse Varopakarn Institute of Foreign Affairs of Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Leveraging Tech to Boost Ties

  • According to an earlier OpenGov Asia report, the Thailand India Business Council signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a networking platform for SMEs to establish a customized platform — the Thailand India GlobalLinker.
  • This platform aims to facilitate networking between Indian and Thai SMEs digitally along with enabling them to connect with other GlobalLinker members in Asia for new trade deals.
  • The MoU will help in getting Indian SMEs to network with the SMEs and industry bodies of Thailand and create more opportunities for themselves in Thailand.
  • It will help SMEs to create a corridor to get new trade in sectors such as rubberwood, rubber tyres, tapioca, construction and cosmetics, the Co-founder and CEO of this firm stated.
  • A new corridor between India and Thailand will be created to connect SMEs, to enable them to strike new trade deals and is estimated to bring more than 40,000 SMEs from Thailand and India onto the platform.
  • Recent data shows that trade between the two nations has grown at least 60 percent since 2016. Thailand is an investment-friendly destination and encourages opportunities from SMEs across sectors, around 25,000 SMEs are going to be benefitted from the partnership.
  • As Thailand works to push forward Thailand 4.0, international cooperation with other Southeast Asian nations will be imperative.
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