The newly appointed Ambassador of Thailand to Bangladesh Arunrung Phothong Humphreys today called on Foreign Minister Dr. A K Abdul Momen, MP, at the latter’s office. Dr. Momen congratulated the Ambassador on her appointment in Dhaka and assured all out support in discharge of her responsibilities.
Dr. Momen said that Bangladesh-Thailand bilateral trade is predominantly in favour of Thailand as Bangladesh exports a very insignificant amount (US$ 44 million in 2018-19 FY) in the Thai market. He suggested that the huge trade imbalance could be minimized if Thailand invests in Bangladesh where a very investor friendly environment is prevailing. “Return on investment is higher in Bangladesh than in any other South Asian country”-he said.
Given the popularity of Thailand as a destination for medical tourism, Dr. Momen said that it would be a win-win venture if Thai entrepreneurs construct joint venture hospitals in Bangladesh. He requested the Thai Ambassador to organize training sessions and technical capacity building programmes on tourism in Bangladesh.
Ambassador Humphreys informed that her mission has already sent a proposal to Bangkok to explore the possibility of investing in the healthcare sector of Bangladesh. She also assured to provide Thailand’s technical support in Bangladesh’s tourism sector. She also informed that the Thai Embassy in Dhaka is planning to hold a Business Forum either in Dhaka or in Bangkok soon. She said that though Bangladesh has a trade deficit vis-à-vis Thailand, her country has a significant investment presence in Bangladesh.
Foreign Minister Dr. Momen thanked Thailand for the humanitarian support extended to the Rohingyas and sought a pro-active role from Thailand on the repatriation issue. The envoy assured to remain engaged on the issue and convey Dhaka’s concerns to her headquarters. She informed that as the outgoing chair of ASEAN Thailand attached top priority to the Rohingya crisis and a durable solution.