Opportunities For Russian Traders As Russia, Thailand Set Trade Goals To Reach US$10 Billion By 2023

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Russia and Thailand have agreed to work together to raise bilateral trade to US$10 billion in 2023, in part to help reboot the economy after the Covid-19 outbreak. Speaking after last weeks conference with Vladimir Ilichev, Russia’s Deputy Economic Minister, Thai Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit said the two parties aim to raise two-way trade to US$10 billion in 2023 – meaning a sustainable increase of US$3 billion per annum in each of the forthcoming years. If achieved, that would roughly follow the bilateral trade development between Russia and Vietnam after the signing of the Vietnam-EAEU Free Trade Agreement in 2015.

Russia was Thailand’s 30th-largest trading partner last year, with bilateral trade amounting to US$3.13 billion. Thai exports to Russia totalled US$958 million, with key export items including automobiles and parts and rubber, while imports accounted for US$2.17 billion, led by crude oil, steel, arms and fertilizer.

Given that both Governments are keen to develop trade, there are opportunities for Russian companies to both sell to, and invest in Thailand in order to buy and sell on the Thai and Russian markets. We covered products that Thailand buys from Russia in the article What Products And Services Is Thailand Buying From Russia? as well as discuss how Russian companies can establish trading and manufacturing companies in Thailand in the article Procedures For Russian Companies To Establish A Business In Thailand.

There are other benefits for Russian companies to establish operations in Thailand: Thailand is a member of ASEAN, which means there is Free Trade between Thailand and other ASEAN members Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, and Vietnam. Collectively, ASEAN nations have Free Trade Agreements with both China and India, meaning Thailand is an excellent base to reach out to the rest of Asia.

This year to date, Russia was Thailand’s 28th-largest trading partner, with two-way trade totaling US$1.8 billion, down 32.1% from the same period of last year. Exports from Thailand were worth US$528.3 million, down 30.7%, with imports worth $1.22 billion, down 32.7% from last year. This reduction in volume has been due to the Covid-19 pandemic, however the proven, normal demand still exists and will bounce back.

Thailand has asked Russia to help increase imports of Thai agricultural products such as chicken, shrimp and rubber, while Russia has asked the Thai government to support the Mir card for use in Thailand to accommodate Russian tourists. About 1.5 million Russian tourists came to Thailand last year.

Mr Jurin said the two nations will also work to promote e-commerce and virtual online trade exhibitions and business matching, plus multilateral cooperation including a free trade agreement between Russia and ASEAN, which is likely to involve the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). Singapore also has an FTA with the EAEU. Dezan Shira & Associates, the publishers of Russia Briefing, assist Russian businesses with investments into Asia and have an office in Bangkok. Please contact the firm at thailand@dezshira.com

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About Us

Russia Briefing is written by Dezan Shira & Associates. The firm has 28 offices throughout Eurasia, including China, Russia, India, and the ASEAN nations, assisting foreign investors into the Eurasian region. Please contact Maria Kotova at russia@dezshira.com for Russian investment advisory or assistance with market intelligence, legal, tax and compliance issues throughout Asia.

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