Thai Ambassador to Bangladesh Makawadee Sumitmor has said a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with Bangladesh is under consideration while more cost-effective sea transport routes between the Andaman coast of Thailand and the Bay of Bengal are being explored.
The Port Authority of Thailand and the Chittagong Port Authority are preparing to enhance cooperation in this regard, she said.
Before the global economy was hampered and stalled by Covid-19, Thailand and Bangladesh aim to increase trade volume to US$ 2 billion.
"Both sides are working closely and actively to facilitate more trade and achieve the target," said the Thai Ambassador in a message on the occasion of the National Day of the Kingdom of Thailand and the birth anniversary of King Bhumibol Adulyadej that falls on December 5.
In 2022, Thailand and Bangladesh will celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations.
Ambassador Sumitmor said the pandemic situation has deprived all of too many opportunities and so much prosperity from mankind but that should not discourage them from finding a solution to live with it.
The road towards rebuilding more enduring and resilient development will undoubtedly be long and winding, she said.
"Yet it’s still manageable if we work together in solidarity to synergize our wisdom and strength," said the Thai Ambassador.
She said this could be the theme for Thailand and Bangladesh to celebrate the golden jubilee of diplomatic relations by promoting “green partnership for all”.
Thailand celebrates its national day every year on 5 December on the birthday anniversary of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Although the highly revered monarch passed away in 2016, Thai people still commemorate the date as the national day and Father’s Day in remembrance of His Majesty’s benevolence.
The Thai envoy said it has proven that in times of a global crisis that affects all of them indiscriminately, international collaboration is crucial to overcome the challenge.
"As the critical and difficult period is improving, we should be prepared to restore growth and strengthen our resilience to deal with other possible disruptions that could emerge in diverse forms such as climate change, resource scarcity and natural disaster," she said.
This means that every aspect of future activities should increasingly be more oriented towards sustainability, said the envoy.
"This is an area where Thailand and Bangladesh can share experiences."
Thailand is shifting towards the Bio-Circular-Green or BCG economy model to use the existing resources more effectively and leave enough for the next generations.
At the same time, Ambassador Sumitmor said, Bangladesh has adopted an explicit roadmap like the Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan and has set clear goals to reduce greenhouse gas emission that would contribute to sustainable development.
Besides, Bangladesh has impressively represented the Climate Vulnerable Forum andV20 in voicing out the concern and expectation related to climate change and development.
"Therefore, both countries can forge a “green partnership” to foster balanced growth and advocate sustainable prosperity for our peoples and planet at the same time," she said.
As normal business is coming back, the Ambassador said, Thailand eagerly looks forward to 2022 when bilateral meetings and visits can be held.
Since July of this year, Thailand has been gradually opening the country to foreigners.
For visitors from Bangladesh, travel restrictions have been eased for all types of visa since 1 November 2021, enabling both sides to resume people-to-people connections under new normal conditions.
"Looking back throughout the past five decades, the two nations have continuously nurtured friendship and cooperation for the common benefits of our peoples," said the Ambassador.
Thailand was among the first friends that recognized Bangladesh in February 1972 and established diplomatic relations on 5 October 1972.
Since then, Ambassador Sumitmor said, there has been flourishing collaboration in various levels and sectors, especially in technical cooperation which started in 2013.