Cabinet okays draft pact with Mongolia

Cabinet okays draft pact with Mongolia

The cabinet yesterday approved a draft memorandum of understanding (MoU) to set up a Joint Trade Committee (JTC) between Thailand and Mongolia, aiming to expand bilateral trade to US$100 million in 2027.

According to deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhnadirek, the first JTC meeting between Thailand and Mongolia is scheduled for Sept 5-6, meant to promote and strengthen trade relations and investment and economic cooperation.

A JTC meeting is scheduled every two years, chaired by representatives agreed upon by both parties. The committee members are representatives of the public and private sectors from both parties.

The draft MoU is effective for five years and automatically renewed for five years unless one party gives written notice of cancellation.

The discussion framework for the first Thai-Mongolian JTC meeting includes the promotion of trade and investment, with a target to increase bilateral trade to $100 million by 2027 under the five-year work plan for cooperation (2022-27) focusing on five areas: trade, investment, tourism and culture, agriculture, and academic cooperation.

Ms Rachada said the five-year work plan for cooperation also calls for direct flights between Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, and Phuket, as well as an increase in the number of two-way visitors and promoting people-to-people and cultural exchanges between the two nations.

Last year, two-way trade between Thailand and Mongolia totalled $53.9 million, up 47% from the previous year. Exports accounted for $15.6 million, while imports were valued at $38.3 million.

In a related development, she made a statement that Thai tourism has shown clear signs of recovery, as indicated by foreign arrivals reaching 4 million in the first eight months of this year.

The return of holidaymakers also fuelled registration of new tourism-related businesses, said Ms Rachada, citing a report by the Business Development Department that found 549 new businesses sought registration in the first seven months this year, up 169% from the same period last year, with registered capital of 989 million baht, an increase of 226%.

She said roughly 7.5 million international arrivals are expected between July and December this year, a 1,840% jump from a year earlier, generating about 400 billion baht in revenue.

For the whole year, international arrivals are expected to reach 10 million, said Ms Rachada.

"Supporting factors for the second half include the launch of new flights and the return of existing flights suspended during the pandemic, the easing of return flight measures in several markets, China's relaxation for foreign airline arrivals and Thailand's reopening to tourists from neighbouring countries," she said.

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