RUSSIAN-THAI RELATIONS / Trade and Economic Cooperation

Trade and Economic Cooperation

Russia and Thailand enjoy a history of more then 50 years of trade and economic relations. First business contacts between Russian trade organizations and Thai companies date back to the end of 40-s following the reinstallation of diplomatic relations between Russia and Thailand in 1941. In 1949 Trade Counsellor Office was established in Bangkok. Later in 1971 the Trade Counsellor Office was transformed into a Trade Representation of the Russian Federation in the Kingdom of Thailand.

Today trade relations between Russia and Thailand are regulated by the general Trade Agreement of December 25, 1970 which provides mutual most preferred country regime in trade and sea transportation to both countries. The new intergovernmental Trading agreement is being negotiated.

Thailand remains the largest trading partner of Russia in Southeast Asia. It is one of the three largest world buyers of the Russian hire of ferrous metals. The structure of bilateral trade is characterized by significant surplus on the Russian side.

The Asian financial crisis of 1997 has had a negative effect on bilateral trade which volumes reduced significantly. However since 1999 the bilateral trade has increased again and in 2005 reached the volume of 2 billion USD (The aim of achievement of a pre-crisis level of 1,7 billion was set by President Vladimir Putin during his visit to Thailand in 2003.). In 2006 trade turnover, according to the Thai customs statistics, was 1,8 billion with Russian export at 1,38 billion and Thai import at 0,42 billion.

Basic articles of the Russian export to Thailand are as follows: rolled steel and scrap metal, fertilizers, jewels, wood, pulp and paper. From Thailand Russia imports electronics products and accessories to them, and also rice, polymers, sugar, canned fruit, vehicles and accessories, seafood, clothes, rubber, animal and vegetative fats, tobacco and a number of other goods.

An important mechanism of promoting interaction in all directions is the Joint Russian-Thai Commission on Bilateral Cooperation, established in 1993. Entrepreneurs of both countries are working on establishing the Russian-Thai Business Council. At the same time Thai-Russian Chamber of Commerce bas already been founded in Bangkok.