New Delhi: Thailand Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Wednesday expressed desire to double trade with India to USD 14 billion by 2014 and forge maritime partnership to develop seaport at Dawei, a strategic location on the southwestern coast of Myanmar.
Addressing leaders of Indian industry at the luncheon meeting hosted by ASSOCHAM, FICCI and CII in New Delhi, Shinawatra said, the two countries can also have cooperation in developing the port infrastructure at Chennai.
"My government has decided to invest in transport and connect with our neighbours... we could set up a maritime linkage with Chennai and Dawei seaport in Myanamar," the visiting Prime Minister said, adding the road connectivity can also be developed.
Dawei is a strategic location for India to get access to South East Asian markets. China is investing heavily in the countries neighbouring India.
Shinawatra said India-Thailand trade has seen a quantum jump from USD 1 billion to USD 7 billion in the last ten years, helped by 'Early Harvest' pact, limited to 82 items.
The two countries want to upgrade it to a full-fledged Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) covering not only goods but also services and investment.
"We will work together to finalise FTA (CEPA) by middle of this year. This will cut the tariff on remaining products. This is why the two governments are setting up a goal to double the bilateral trade to USD 14 billion in 2014," Shinawatra, who would be the Chief Guest at the Republic Day celebrations, said.
She said there is a potential to collaborate in areas like IT, manufacturing, tourism and medical services. "We hope to work together to set up a high-level forum with businessmen," she said.