Total trade between Brunei Darussalam and Thailand in 2021 has grown 25.7 per cent to USD611.87 million, compared to 2020, said Ambassador-Designate of Thailand to Brunei Darussalam Boosara Kanchanalai during the opening ceremony of the ‘Thailand Bazaar’ at the OneCity Shopping Centre yesterday.
This made Thailand among the top 10 trade partners of the Sultanate, said the ambassador-designate. “The pandemic during the past three years has presents us with a new opportunity to promote Thai micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that are based in Brunei as a way to support them.
“MSMEs are especially vulnerable to disruptions in supply chain, labour supply and demand for goods and services,” she added.
“We recognise MSMEs as the backbone of our economy and bilateral trade hence it is crucial to support them during challenging times such as the pandemic.
“One of our objectives is to support Thai products in the Brunei market and to maintain the flow of two-way trade between our two countries,” she said.
The Thailand Bazaar featured Thai delicacies like tom yum, pad thai and som tam as well as khao soi, a coconut curry noodle originating from Northern Thailand.
Besides food, desserts and beverages, the bazaar is also showcasing hydroponics vegetables, fruits, dried processed food, clothing, jewellery, handicrafts, tools and products, as well as halal products, a halal-E-commerce platform, halal logistics and services.
Visitors also can view food and handicraft demonstrations during the event.
The bazaar was launched by Deputy Permanent Secretary (Trade and Industry) at the Ministry of Finance and Economy Mohammad Harris bin Brigadier General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Haji Ibrahim with the ambassador-designate.
Forty booths are participating in the bazaar including the Thai Tourism Authority Office and Trade Promotion Office who flew directly from Kuala Lumpur and will provide first-hand information on business matching and tourist attractions in Thailand.
The Office of Labour Affairs is also present to provide information on the potential skilled labour supply from Thailand.
The event is jointly organised by the Royal Thai Embassy in Brunei Darussalam in collaboration with the Thai Department of International Trade Promotion; Tourism Authority of Thailand; Office of the Defence Attache; and Office of Labour Affairs.
OPEN, CONNECT AND BALANCE
As the host of APEC 2022, Thailand’s priorities for post-pandemic future of the region are driven by the theme ‘Open, Connect and Balance’, said the ambassador-designate.
“We are ‘open’ to all opportunities in facilitating trade and investment; ‘connect’ in all dimensions in terms of resumptions of cross-border travel and using technology to accelerate connectivity in the region; and ‘balance’ all aspects in promoting inclusive and sustainable growth by prioritising to address climate change and environmental challenges,” she said.
She said sustainable economic development is also top of Brunei’s priority as one of the objectives of Brunei Vision 2035, adding that aspirations of the Sultanate are to ensure the economy is open and globally connected and to ensure the preservation of the environment.
“These are aligned with Thailand’s ‘Bio-Circular-Green’ economic model in advocating for environmental friendly and sustainable practices in businesses while investing in green technology.”
Meanwhile, she said tourism is one of the five priority sectors identified in the Brunei‘s economic blueprint and said the sector constitute 20 per cent of Thailand’s gross domestic product. “As an important contributor to Thailand’s economy which was among the hardest hit by the pandemic, we have to look beyond recovery where we envisioned tourism that is regenerative in nature.”