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Trade between PNG and Thailand looking bright

TRADE between Thailand and PNG totalled US$326.2 million (K1.023bn) last year and has the potential to increase considerably, according to Thailand Ambassador Chirachai Punkrasin.
Punkrasin said this during a Thai trade seminar on Thursday in Port Moresby which featured presentations on current trade between the two countries and possible economic opportunities.
The seminar was conducted by trade delegates from Thailand who were on a three-day visit to the country.
“Although our relations have been smooth and steady, the geographical distance between our two countries has undoubtedly been an impediment in building a closer friendship,” Punkrasin said.
“This is why in recent years our government has worked tirelessly to improve our key bilateral and multilateral mechanisms reinforcing our firm belief that Papua New Guinea  and Thailand can forge closer friendships especially in the areas of trade and investment, fisheries, tourism and development cooperation despite the distance.
“In terms of our trade relations, I strongly believe that much more can be done to increase our engagement.
“In 2016 total trade amounted between our two countries stood at US$326.21 million (K1.023bn) with Thailand exporting to Papua New Guinea, US$139.32 million (K437.08 million) and importing from Papua New Guinea  US$186.69 million (K585.69 million).
“Prominent Thai products were exported to Papua New Guinea and from Papua New Guinea to Thailand imports palm oil seed and tuna in huge quantities.
“The trade figures are undoubtedly healthy but I believe we can do more to improve the trade figures both ways.”
Punkrasin said greater people-to-people relations was the way towards achieving this.
“I am pleased to announce that holders of Papua New Guinea  passports visiting Thailand for a period not exceeding 15 days are now able to apply for visa on arrival.
“Last year, 536 Papua New Guinea people travelled to Thailand and hopefully through this we can see a healthy increase.”
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