Thailand vows closer ties with Mongolia
published : 21 May 2021 at 05:46
newspaper section: Business
writer: Phusadee Arunmas
The government vows to boost bilateral trade between Thailand and Mongolia to reach US$100 million (3.1 billion baht) by 2023.
Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit said on Thursday after a meeting with Tumur Amarsanaa, the Mongolian ambassador to Thailand, the two sides discussed ways to reinvigorate economic relations and explored how to enhance bilateral trade between the two countries.
It was the first meeting between a Thai commerce minister and a Mongolian ambassador to Thailand since the establishment of the Mongolian embassy in Bangkok in 2000.
Mr Jurin said Thailand and Mongolia are working on a five–year cooperation plan (2019-2023) to serve as a mechanism to expand bilateral trade and investment, as well as strengthen Thai-Mongolian cooperation in a more tangible manner.
As part of the plan, both sides set a target to increase bilateral trade to $100 million by 2023.
During the meeting, Mr Jurin emphasised increasing exports of rice and rubber to Mongolia and reiterated Thailand's important role in food security in the region and readiness to serve as a reliable source of food for Mongolia, particularly high-quality agricultural and food products.
In addition, he was optimistic Thailand would become the go-to destination for Mongolian medical tourists after the pandemic.
During the pandemic, Mr Jurin said Thailand's trade promotion activities adjusted to a digital approach.
The ministry has carried out various online activities such as online business matching and virtual trade fairs.
More specifically, Thaifex-Anuga Asia 2021 -- Asia's most important food fair, which is of interest to the Mongolian business community in Thailand -- is scheduled for an online platform later this month.
At the meeting, Mr Tumur reiterated continued support in establishing a mechanism for both sides to promote bilateral trade and investment, which should drive economic growth and enhance the trade value between the two countries.
Mongolia is Thailand's sixth-largest trading partner in East Asia and 126th largest trading partner worldwide.
The annual average trade value between Thailand and Mongolia over the past five years is $49.8 million.
In 2020, Thailand's total trade with Mongolia was $36.8 million, with potential export products paper, automotive products and rubber.
Key imports from Mongolia are metal ores, metal waste scrap and products, animals and animal products, and other textiles.