SURAT THANI, Nov 10 — Malaysia and Thailand are keen to forge cooperation in tourism and agriculture to unlock the full potential of the two sectors, said Malaysian ambassador to Thailand Datuk Jojie Samuel

Jojie said industry players in these sectors in Thailand’s southern province of Surat Thani are eager to share their knowledge and expertise in order to collaborate.

“Agriculture and tourism are Surat Thani’s key economic drivers. Therefore, the embassy can help to connect Malaysian and Thai businesses.

“I believe there is great potential for cooperation between Malaysia and Thailand, especially in Surat Thani. My visit can help us expand our networks and explore ways to enhance trade,” he told Bernama.

Jojie undertook a working visit to Surat Thani recently where he met with its governor, Jedsada Jitrat; mayor, Prasert Boonprasop, and Surat Thani Chamber of Commerce president Kasien Laiyakosit.

He visited the Sirichai Shrimp Farm, Madavi Farm, Durian Mega Farm, biomass power plant, Green Energy Co Ltd, and logistic company, MS North Star Logistics (Thailand) Co Ltd.

Located in southern Thailand, Surat Thani is known for its beautiful beaches, lush rainforests and rich cultural heritage.

Surat Thani’s agricultural prowess lies in its plantations of oil palm, rubber, and fruits like durian alongside seafood delicacies, such as white shrimp, oyster and crab.

Within the tourism sector, Surat Thani caters to a diverse range of tourists, offering wellness retreats, cultural immersion experiences, and adventure activities like trekking and island exploration.

“My trip to Surat Thani has given me an opportunity to meet with local government officials and business leaders to explore how Malaysian businesses can expand their presence in the agriculture and tourism sectors.

“The visit also aims to strengthen ties between Malaysia and Thailand as discussed during Thailand Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s visit to Malaysia when he met with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in October.”

He added that the trip explored challenges faced in conducting bilateral trade, such as bottlenecks in bureaucratic processes and non-tariff barriers.

Meanwhile, Kasien said Jojie’s working visit had opened up new opportunities for collaboration in trade and investment between Surat Thani and Malaysia.

“We hope to woo investment from Malaysian companies in the agriculture sector. We are looking to elevate and add value to our agricultural products through the Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) economic model. Malaysian companies have the expertise and experience that we need to help us achieve our goals.”

Kasien said Thailand and Malaysian companies can also collaborate in the halal industry.

“Malaysia as a leader in the global halal economy can share its expertise and knowledge to help Thailand gain a foothold in the halal market,” he said.

Since travelling by road is a convenient way for Malaysians to visit southern Thailand, he suggested that tourism players explore ways to attract Malaysian big bikers and caravan groups to visit Surat Thani via the Thailand-Malaysia land borders. — Bernama