Remarks by H.E. Mr. Chutintorn Gongsakdi, Ambassador of Thailand to India at the 5th India International MSME and Startup Expo 2018 Friday 22 June 2018, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi
The 5th International MSME and Start Up Expo 2018 was organised by ITPO as the Co-organiser, FICCI-CMSME as the industry partner, and KPMG as the knowledge partner, from 22-24 June 2018, at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, India. India’s only international expo for trade, industry, MSMEs, Start-ups was attended by Union Minister of Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu, Minister of State-PMO DONER Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for Culture, Mahesh Sharma, Minister of Industrial Development in the Uttar Pradesh Government, Satish Mahana and envoys of Thailand, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan, Indian and overseas MSMEs, young entrepreneurs, and various stakeholders. The main objective of the expo was to provide a one-stop global platform to connect, network, partner and share information with domestic and international SMEs to find new business opportunities in either country.
H.E. Mr. Chutintorn Gongsakdi, Ambassador of Thailand to India, in his address, said “MSMEs are lifeblood of all economies.” He said bilateral trade between India and Thailand has grown from USD 9 to USD 10.3 billion during 2016-17. Thailand’s investment in India, he added, increased to over USD 360 million, being ranked 26th in Indian FDI Equity inflows in 2017, jumping from 36th in 2016. He added that there are more than USD 500 million of Indian investments flowing into the Thai economy from 2011-17. Interestingly, he said, “in the last 3 months I have already met with more than 5 Thai and Indian businesses in various sectors, ranging from cosmetics, leather goods, auto components, telecoms, food, to the hotel and leisure business, that have expressed interest to invest in our respective countries”.
His Excellency stated, “Many new Thai businesses are moving forward with plans to expand their business in India. A Thai cash & carry outlet named “LOTS Wholesale Solutions” will launch the first of twenty outlets in New Delhi next month. CPF (India), a subsidiary unit of the Charoen Pokphand Foods Public Company Limited, a global company, is expanding its broiler chicken business with 100% end-to-end traceability for Indian consumption and export to the US and EU, pending agreement in Haryana. Siam Cement Group Public Company Limited or SCG which has been conducting its trading business in India over the past 12 years, is moving forward to expand its investment through the establishment of a subsidiary private limited company, pending approval of its company registration”. These developments, he added, reflect the confidence of the Thai government and the investors in the potential of the Indian market, credibility of the Government of India and the most improved Ease of Doing Business of India.
Ease of Doing Business for Thais in India
For the ease of doing business in India, His Excellency said, “the entry point is one of the most important elements to help foreign investors to confidently start their business in India.” He suggested the Indian government to consider strengthening and developing other commercial chambers and institutions, such as MSME Development Forum, to be credible options as effective entry points for foreign investors, which will inevitably include SMEs. His Excellency also emphasised the importance of bilateral and regional trade agreements that will facilitate trade and investment, and bridge the existing gaps in India-Thai FTA negotiations including the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) FTA, which will lead to increased opportunities and competitiveness for our businesses and our economies.
Opportunities for MSME in Thailand and ASEAN
Thailand’s geographical location renders it to be a strategic hub for foreign investors to make and export their products to the Indo-Pacific and the world. His Excellency mentioned, “We are a member of the ASEAN Community, which has achieved economic integration to facilitate the movement of goods and service professionals among the 10 Member States of 635+ million people. And Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor or EEC, which is a newly-created special economic zone in Thailand, is also developed to attract foreign investment in innovative industrial and service sectors.” He added, “While “Make in India” is at the heart of the transformation of the Indian economy, “Make in Thailand by India” for India, ASEAN and the world, may also be an option for Indian MSMEs to achieve its growth at the regional level.
In Conclusion, His Excellency assured, “the Royal Thai Embassy always stands ready to welcome Indian businesses to explore the potential of our MSMEs, our country and our ASEAN Community. We are also committed to support Thai businesses in India towards their ventures. Indeed, a prosperous and inclusive future for all MSMEs within a “New India 2022”, a “Thailand 4.0” and an ASEAN Community is within the reach of all of us.”
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Royal Thai Embassy, New Delhi
27 June 2018