Thailand, Malaysia aim for 1 trillion baht trade by 2027
Image courtesy of KhaoSod

Thailand and Malaysia Ambitious goals were set Expand bilateral trade to 1 trillion baht by 2027Focusing on strengthening cross-border economic cooperation, Twin Cities InitiativeDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce Puemtam Vechayachai outlined the plans after the third Thailand-Malaysia Joint Trade Committee (JTC) meeting in Kuala Lumpur.

Pumtam highlighted the strong ties between the two countries, especially between Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim and his Thai counterpart Surendra Tavissin, who regularly discuss economic issues. The visit aims to consolidate discussions between the two countries and set a clear direction for future economic cooperation, Pumtam said.

“This is my first visit as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce and I am very pleased to visit Malaysia as it is Thailand’s close neighbour and Thailand’s largest trading partner in the ASEAN region,” he said.

Pumtam noted that the two countries are focused on reaching a target of US$30 billion (1 trillion baht) in trade by 2027. Efforts will be made to speed up the opening of agricultural markets, with Thailand asking Malaysia to speed up approvals for the import of beef, pork and zebra pigeons.

Additionally, Thailand is seeking certification for chilled and frozen chicken products for export to Malaysia.

The two countries also plan to strengthen border economic cooperation and increase border trade volume. The Joint Working Group on Border Trade and Investment, established by the two prime ministers, will work closely together.

Twin City Model

Malaysia will host the first meeting later this month to promote and resolve border trade and investment issues. Pemtam proposed linking the economies of five southern Thai provinces with five northern Malaysian states under the Twin Cities model, linking Narathiwat with Kelantan, Songkhla with Kedah, Satun with Perlis, Yala with Perak, and Pattani with Terengganu.

The initiative also aims to conclude a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for cross-border goods and passenger movement by the end of the year.

Both countries welcomed the progress of the construction of the new Sadao Bukit Kayu Hitam border crossing, which is scheduled for completion by 2025. The development is expected to streamline the transport of goods and tourist movements across the border.

Pumtam also mentioned plans to forge new cooperation, particularly in the halal food sector and franchise business, where Thailand has a competitive edge. The two governments are keen on digital and data centre cooperation, which is expected to foster a favourable environment for trade, attract investment and facilitate the transition to a digital economy.

In his closing remarks, Pumtam invited Malaysia to participate in Thailand’s trade promotion events such as the border trade fair in Songkhla, as well as Thai Week and Thailand International Trade Exhibition in Malaysia in 2024.

“On behalf of the Thai government, I would like to express my gratitude for today’s successful and effective meeting.”

Malaysia remains Thailand’s largest trading partner ASEAN It is also the world’s fourth largest country and Thailand’s largest border trading partner.

Total trade between Thailand and Malaysia was US$25.12 billion in 2023, down 7.14 percent. In the first five months of 2024, bilateral trade was US$10.79 billion, down slightly by 0.54 percent, with exports worth US$5.05 billion and imports worth US$5.74 billion, Khaosod reported.

Economic News Thailand News

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