Malaysia, Thailand eye bilateral trade boost

Nazirah said trade with Thailand, the country’s fourth largest trading partner, amounted to US$20.83 billion last year. — Reuters pic
Nazirah said trade with Thailand, the country’s fourth largest trading partner, amounted to US$20.83 billion last year. — Reuters pic

BANGKOK, March 6 — Malaysia and Thailand are determined to see bilateral trade achieve the US$30 billion (RM133 billion) target by next year, with border trade set to play greater role in the coming years.

Malaysia’s Ambassador to Thailand, Datuk Nazirah Hussain, said trade with Thailand, the country’s fourth largest trading partner, amounted to US$20.83 billion last year.

“Both sides acknowledge that the target can be achieved by encouraging greater cross-border trade and investments,” she said at a seminar on ‘Global and Emerging Markets Macro Outlook, Outlook for Malaysia and Thailand’ here today.

The one-day seminar is jointly organised by RHB Bank Thailand and RHB Securities (Thailand) with Malaysia External Trade Development Corp (Matrade) Bangkok and Malaysian Embassy.

Also present were RHB Bank Thailand Country Head, Wong Kee Poh, and Norman Dzulkarnain Nasri, Matrade’s Thailand Trade Counsellor.

She said border trade accounted for 65 per cent of the total bilateral trade.

“Discussions are on-going with Thailand to further facilitate trade, investment and tourism flows between the two countries through cross-border movement of commercial and tourist vehicles.

“They also include the expansion of facilities at the common border entry and exit points. These will open opportunities and promote the development of the common border areas,” she said.

Tourism, she said, has become one of the major players in international commerce, and represented one of the main income sources for many nations.  

From January to December last year, Malaysian tourist arrivals to Thailand recorded about 3.5 million and increase of 3.3 per cent as compared to same period last year, said Nazirah.

Total Thai tourist arrivals to Malaysia last year increased by 35.7 per cent to about 1.4 million compared to the previous year, she said.

“Travel and tourism play an extensive role in stimulating economic sectors such as transport, food, accommodation, entertainment, handicrafts, shopping, spa, wellness, healthcare and education,” she said. — Bernama

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