Saturday, June 11, 2011


       "In the exhibition, the Indonesian public will have an opportunity to see or savor things that are really Thai" Thai Ambassador to Indonesia Thanatip Upatising promised the press here recently.
       The fifth Thai trade expo, which according to Ambassador Thanatip is to be the biggest ever held in Indonesia, will be organized by the Thai trade ministry and the Thai Trade Center in Jakarta from June 16 to 19, 2011.
       At least 118 Thai companies will take part in the expo which will display various goods such as canned food, beverages, decorations, jewelries, and fashion products, Vilasinee Nonsrichai of the Thai Trade Center in Jakarta said.
       Food lovers will not only be offered to taste Thai food that will be brought directly from Thailand, but also learn how to cook delicious Thai food to be demonstrated by members of the Thai Women`s Association and the Indonesian Chef Association.
       Beautiful Thai flowers, fruits and plants will also be exhibited thanks to the support of the Thai agriculture ministry.
      Indonesia is one of the high-potential markets for Thai fruit, especially durian, tamarind, custard apple, guava, pomelo, mango and longan. Sales of Thai durian alone are about Bt30 million a year.
      A seminar on business and investment opportunities for Thai and Indonesian businessmen and art performances will also be organized during the expo.
       Thailand`s ten major exports to Indonesia are automotive spare parts and accessories, chemical, sugar, rice, machinery spare parts, steel and its derivative products, air conditioners, cosmetics, and skin treatment products. Indonesia`s exports to Thailand mainly consist of oil, gas and other natural resource products.
      Indonesia and Thailand have forged equal partnership which is beneficial for both neighboring nations, the Thai envoy said.

"The bilateral ties between Indonesia and Thailand are strong in every aspect and dimension. Therefore, the embassy would continue to promote more intensified cooperation between the two nations in the economic field in particular," Ambassador Thanatip said.

In July 2009, Thailand organized a "Made in Thailand Exhibition 2009" at the Jakarta Convention Hall.

The expo had 100 stands which displayed various products of good quality from 81 Thai companies. The fourth Thai trade show attracted at least 20,000 people and succeeded in collecting high transaction value.

Having a population of over 237 million, Indonesia is the biggest market in ASEAN, and the third largest trading partner of Thailand, after Malaysia and Singapore.

For Indonesia, Thailand is the eighth biggest market destination for Indonesian exports within the ASEAN region.

In the first quarter of 2010, Indonesia`s exports to Thailand increased 18 percent.

"Our exports to Thailand grew at a lower rate than those to Malaysia which increased 40 percent in the first quarter of 2010," Indonesian Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu said last year.

Thai investment in Indonesia in 2009 reached US$ 154 million or occupied 14th place on the list of countries investing in Indonesia.

Many Thai investors are engaged in chemical industries, heavy equipment, rubber, telecommunications, mining and consumer products such as processed chicken products and energy drinks in Indonesia.

Thailand is a major rice supplier to Indonesia. Trade Minister Mari Pangestu has expressed her intention to extend the rice trade cooperation agreement with Thailand which is due to expire in 2012.

The MoU signed in 2007 provides for the purchase by Indonesia of 1.5 million tons of rice from Thailand.

"The existing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is valid until 2012 but we are ready to prepare a process to extend it," she said last September.

In 2008, the total trade value between the two countries was recorded at US$11.734 million, up 33 percent from that in 2007.

Indonesia`s exports to Thailand jumped to US$11 billion in 2008 from US$8.7 billion a year earlier.

Two-way trade in the first half of 2010 soared 79.7 percent to US$6.49 billion, with a $997.73 million trade surplus in favor of Thailand.

According to the Thai government`s statistics, over the past three years the Thailand-Indonesia trade value was recorded at the average of $13.02 billion annually with Thailand gaining a surplus of over $1.67 billion.

To help boost the bilateral economic ties, the first Indonesia-Thailand Business Forum and Business Networking Programs was held in Jakarta in September 2010.

The one-day business seminar and networking was designed to facilitate business people from both countries to share their success stories and understand better vital investment laws, regulations, and taxation policies.

Indonesia and Thailand were committed to stepping up their bilateral trade and investment relations as the business climate and opportunities in both countries were improving rapidly, the Thai chief diplomat said.

"Indonesia and Thailand have long-standing trade and investment cooperation. It is now entering its 60th year and this indeed is great momentum for us to further strengthen our diplomatic and trade relations," Thai Ambassador Thanatip Upatising said last September prior to the holding of the Indonesia-Thailand Business Forum and Business Networking.

Both Indonesia and Thailand are members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

In line with the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA), which has entered into force since 1 January 2010, ASEAN-6, namely Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand - can import and export almost all goods across their borders at no tariff.

The entry into force of AFTA is one of ASEAN`s tangible achievements in the economic front this year, taking the region one step closer to building an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).


(T.F001/A/F001/A/H-YH) 11-06-2011 23:50:09

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