Thailand exported 6,487mt of steel products to Bangladesh in Jan-Nov 2019, down from 7,448mt in 2018. The overseas trade between Thailand-Bangladesh, however, is likely to go up as the countries consider a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) for bilateral trade.
As decided in a meeting concluded on Jan 8, 2020 at Bangkok, Thailand’s ministry of trade will have FTA joint study on feasibility with Bangladesh, according to Davis Index sources. Thailand is likely benefit more as it has trade surplus with Bangladesh.
Annual bilateral trade between Bangladesh and Thailand was at $1.25bn in 2018, down 4.4pc, according to the customs department from the prior year. Bangladesh was Thailand’s third-largest trade partner in South Asia, after India and Pakistan.
Thailand exported various products including steel and automobiles & its parts worth $1.2bn in 2018. The imports from Bangladesh into Thailand amounted to $59.24mn.
In the 2006-2019 period, Thailand’s direct investment in Bangladesh was at $1.5bn, while Bangladesh’s investment in Thailand was at $1.12mn during the period.
Proposal on a new sea trade route
The Joint Trade Committee (JTC) will also consider a new direct trade route between Bangladesh’s Chittagong port and Thailand’s Port of Ranong in the Andaman sea. The new route will shorten delivery time to 5 days from 7-12days at present. It will exclude transit ports and transhipments in Malaysia, mainly Port Klang, and Singapore. It may attract shippers from other countries in the region, like Vietnam or Philippines or Cambodia.