India sells unicorn dream at city meet
India's commerce and industry minister dangled a new comprehensive support package to lure Thai investors to join Indian projects during an event in Bangkok on Tuesday.
"CEOs Meet'' was targeted at forging connections between leading Thai and Indian companies, said Anupriya Patel, who is spearheading the initiative.
She gave a speech about the current state of trade and how new ties could benefit both nations in terms of trade and knowledge exchanges.
Ms Patel and her Indian delegates were in Thailand to attend the 78th session of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (Escap) from May 22 to 24. The event marked the 75th anniversary of Escap.
She also visited an Indian community in Bangkok and attended the CEOs Meet, which consisted of 14 leading Indian companies that operate in Thailand and five leading Thai companies that operate in India and Thailand.
The Indian minister was keen to promote opportunities in telecoms, information technology, healthcare and green energy.
"I would like to assure you that the Ministry of Commerce and Industry will facilitate your proposals to support our investors in every possible way," she said.
"So, I urge you to come to India and explore greater trade and investment linkages. I will assure you our support, facilitation, whatever you need, we will look into your issues. We will try to speed up any resolutions to solve problems that you have. This is the message that I came here with."
Thailand is India's fourth-largest trading partner. It recently witnessed a boom in exports and bilateral trade.
"The Indian market is big and very diverse. Although we are concerned about the trade deficit, there has still been renewed growth," she said.
"I am sure in this post-pandemic time, closer economic cooperation between the two countries, Thailand and India, will go a long way to help both our economic recoveries."
In addition, she said, India is poised to become the third-largest country in the world for start-ups.
Furthermore, on March 25, India reached its initial target of achieving 100 unicorns worth a combined US$332.7 billion, making it the third-largest unicorn hub after the US and China.
"India would become one of the market leaders [in developing start-ups] and that could give Thai investors a chance to capitalise," Ms Patel added by way of explanation.