Bilateral trade between countries amounted to $4.1 billion in the first half of 2010, an increase of 29% over the previous year. Of the total, Thailand`s exports to India amounted to $2.6 billion, while imports from India amounted to $1.5 billion. The Joint Working Group held four sessions between May and December 2002 and concluded that a free trade agreement would bring mutual benefits in the development of trade, investment and economic cooperation in areas such as tourism, education, finance and banking, health, aviation and international transport. In addition, Thailand would benefit from increased trade and reduced tariffs on exports to India, including clothing, leather products, chemicals, rubber, plastics, metals, automobiles and spare parts, as well as electrical equipment. The framework agreement covers the liberalisation of trade in goods, trade in services and investment, and the development of economic cooperation. Thai officials, led by Director General Srirat Rastapana, recently visited India to meet with their Indian counterparts at the 21st Thailand-India Trade Negotiation Committee in New Delhi, the capital, to negotiate free trade, services, investment and other economic cooperation between the two nations. A India-Thailand Trade Negotiating Committee has been established to discuss the details of the framework agreement and to formulate a free trade agreement, as well as to strengthen economic cooperation between the two countries. Expert groups have also been set up to negotiate certain areas of the agreement, such as. Β rules on the origin of goods, dispute settlement mechanisms and trade in services and investment. These expert groups shall report to the Trade Negotiations Committee on their findings. The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Thailand and India will offer at least 900 other Thai items of tax privileges for products classified as « Product Specific Rules » (PRS) and products requiring rules of origin, said the director general of Thailand`s trade negotiations division. From 2004, the Free Trade Agreement between Thailand and India included trade in goods until 2010.
In order to accelerate tariff reductions, the two countries agreed to introduce an Early Investment Programme (ETS) for 82 items for which tariffs have been reduced to 0% since September 2006, completely eliminated. Bilateral negotiations were then suspended, as India had to prioritize its free trade with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). . . .