Thu, 23 Sep 2010

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia and Thailand are to step up their bilateral trade and investment relations as the business climate and opportunities in both countries are fast improving, Thailand`s chief diplomat here said.

"Indonesia and Thailand have long-standing trade and investment cooperation. It is now entering its 60th year and this indeed is great momentum for us to further strengthen our diplomatic and trade relations," Thai Ambassador to Indonesia Thanatip Upatising told a press conference.

"The investment climate is more conducive here and we thus attract more Thai investors to enter into the strategic sectors in Indonesia," Upatising said, adding that the first step in this direction will be the holding of an Indonesia-Thailand Business Forum and Business Networking.

The forum is slated to be attended and opened by Thailand`s Trade Representative, Dr. Suthad Setboonsarng, in Jakarta in November, he said.

Upatising said the Thai business sectors have been showing significant progress, and will continue to keep strengthening their position as Southeast Asia`s second largest economy with a population of 64 million people, and as one of the world`s most visited tourist destination attracting 11 million tourists annually.

Business players from Thailand succeeded in facilitating AFTA with Indonesia as their main trade, Indonesia being an important country in Southeast Asia. This was proven by the fact that Thai investment in Indonesia in 2009 reached US$ 154 million or occupied 14th place on the list of countries investing in the country.

The Thai government had promised to increase its investment in Indonesia in some sectors while at this time many Thai business players are engaged in chemical industries, heavy equipment, rubber, telecommunications, mining and consumer products such as processed chicken products and energy drinks.

Pongsak Thong-Amphai, president director of Thai Business Club Indonesia (TBCI), who flanked Upatising at the press conference, said the Department of Export Promotion, operational under Commercial Affairs division at Thai Embassy in Jakarta and the club would organize the forum themed "Indonesia-Thailand Business Forum and Business Networking Program 2010."

The forum would last a full day and feature a Business Seminar and Workshop, Business Matching and business networking reception which are believed to further strengthen the existing cooperation between the two countries.

Pongsak said he would call on business players from the two countries "not to miss this event as it will be a great opportunity for them."

The Thai Embassy`s commercial attache, Ms. Natchathorn Manopanjasiri, said the business seminar and workshop would focus on Indonesia-Thailand bilateral trade and investment opportunities in 2010, and be held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Jakarta on November 29, 2010.

"We will also have a session on business matching for agricultural products including fruits, cut flower, food and beverages to industrial product and a Business Networking Gala Dinner," she said.

The forum is targeting participants who are business players, trade and investment industry players, government officials from ASEAN, especially Indonesia and Thailand. (*)