Karachi, July 20: Three-day “Top Thai Brands 2019” exhibition opened on Saturday aiming to enhance bilateral trade and specifically Pakistan’s exports to Thailand which was $225.5 million last year in 2018.
In the year 2017, Pakistan’s exports to Thailand were $142.9 million however it witnessed an increase of 57.8 percent bringing up this figure to $225.5 million in 2018.
This was told by Junaid Makda, President Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI), chief guest at the inaugural ceremony of this expo held here at Pearl Continental Hotel, Karachi.
In cutting ribbon, Junaid Makda was accompanied by Mr Suebsak Dangboonrueng, Director of Thai Trade Centre, Dhaka, Department of International Trade Promotion, Ministry of Commerce, Royal Thai Government, Mr. Thatree Chauvachata, Consul General, Royal Thai Consulate-General, Arif Suleman, Honorary Trade Advisor to Ministry of Commerce, Royal Thai Government, Dr. Mirza Ikhtiar Baig, Senior Vice President Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) and Rashid Ul Haq, Director Event and Conference International.
Guests paid a visit to different stalls and provided information about Thai products and technology displayed at the exhibition.
This three-day exhibition is being managed by the Department of International Trade Promotion, Ministry of Commerce, Royal Thai Government and Event & Conference International.
A large number of products is on display including cosmetic & herbal, food items, plastic houseware, bulbs, gas stove, locks, auto parts, chemical adhesive, water pump & generator, agricultural machinery, industrial paints, footwear, fishery equipment, corrugated plastic sheet for packaging, advertising etc.
Addressing at the opening ceremony and later talking to media persons, President KCCI said that Pakistan and Thailand maintain sound bilateral trade relations. “Pakistan’s import from Thailand totalled at $1466.1 million in 2018 against $1400.3 million in 2017 showing a growth of 4.7 percent,” he told.
The trade balance is favourable for Thailand at $1240.6 million in 2018 as compared with $1257.5 million in 2017, a decrease of 1.3 percent. There exist great potential to enhance bilateral trade, investment and cooperation between Pakistan and Thailand. The signing of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is in process and expected to be signed in 2019. Pakistan has reportedly demanded concession on 115 products on textiles, agro-products, plastic and pharmaceuticals, in the manner granted by Thailand to other FTA partners on these products. Pakistan will likely to benefit by $200 million after signing the FTA, Junaid Makda informed.
President KCCI said that Thailand possesses a number of high value-added industries like agro-business, food processing and automotive production. Pakistan, by arranging joint ventures in these fields, can develop these industries together, he urged.
Furthermore, there exists potential to collaborate in the field of trade, culture, infrastructure development, science and technology, defence, education and religious tourism. There are several sightseeing places in Pakistan that have much attraction for Thai tourists. Pakistan needs to enhance the marketing of its tourism potential. A transfer of technology relationship can also be set up in the automotive and water treatment sectors, Junaid Makda concluded.
Earlier, Mr Suebsak Dangboonrueng, Director of Thai Trade Centre, Dhaka, Department of International Trade Promotion, Ministry of Commerce, Royal Thai Government expressed his pleasure to visit Pakistan one more time and appreciated the support of the local business community. We can take our relations to the next level by enhancing mutual trade, he added.
Mr Thatree Chauvachata, Consul General, Royal Thai Consulate-General in Karachi said that Pakistan is a very important major partner of Thailand in this region. Pakistan is now among the top five countries which have good trade with Thailand for which we are thankful to the business community and people of Pakistan. There are many tourist places as well including Mohin Jo Darro where Thai citizens usually come. We are also going to have a meeting with Sindh Tourism authorizes, he added.
Arif Suleman, Honorary Trade Advisor to the Ministry of Commerce, Royal Thai Government said that such exhibitions play a key role in promoting business activities.
Talking to media, expo organizer Rashid Ul Haque, who is also Director, Event and Conference International said that more than 50 companies are exhibiting their goods and technology.
The exhibition will be continued till Monday night.