KARACHI: There are more commonalities than differences between the people of Thailand and Pakistan and we must make this factor the cornerstone of our relationship to take it to the next level. This was said by H.E. Thatree Chauvachata, Consul General of the Royal Thai Consulate in Karachi, during an informal interaction with the media at his residence.
The Thai Consul General said there is room for greatly increasing trade relations and his country was keen to increase imports from Pakistan. He said two-way trade between Pakistan and Thailand during 2018 was approximately $1.674 billion and overwhelmingly in Bangkok’s favour. He said he was inviting Pakistani businessmen to explore more avenues and markets in Thailand to improve the balance of trade between the two countries and increase Pakistani exports to Thailand.
H.E. Chauvachata said a board of investment delegation from Thailand had recently visited Pakistan and met Pakistani counterparts and businessmen and held extensive discussions in Islamabad, Lahore, Faisalabad and Karachi.
He said Thailand was among the largest buyers of Pakistani seafood and vegetables and that Karachi and Balochistan could benefit from Thailand’s expertise in building modern cold storage facilities, canning and transportation for seafood thus enhancing its foreign exchange capabilities several fold. He added that the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan was sending a delegation comprising fisheries sector experts to Thailand to benefit from Thai expertise.
The Thai Consul General said that the Free Trade Agreement between Pakistan and Thailand was almost final and he hoped that it would be signed soon. He added that his country had offered 200 items to be included in the FTA.
He said on the social and cultural sphere there was need to increase people-to-people interaction and cultural ties. He said it was amazing that almost a million Pakistanis visit Thailand every year as a holiday destination.
He said a Thai cultural troupe and a Thai food festival had been held earlier this year as part of the effort to enhance people-to-people interaction.
On a personal note Thai Consul General Thatree Chauvachata said it was only 10 months that he was residing in Karachi and he felt it was a second home to him.