Iran, Thailand Set to Open
‘New Page’ in Bilateral Relations
Iran and Thailand could soon double the level of their trade
exchanges by implementing agreements and joint projects, Rouhani
Iran and Thailand have expressed their readiness to open a new chapter in
Tehran-Bangkok relations in different fields.
Iran’s President Rouhani and Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha made the
remarks in a meeting held on the sidelines of the 2nd Asia Cooperation
Dialogue (ACD) Summit in Bangkok (Oct. 9).
“Today, the two governments are willing to broaden bilateral ties in
political, economic, cultural and scientific areas,” Rouhani said, adding,
“The expansion of relations between Iran and Thailand serves the interests
of the two nations and is supplementary to regional cooperation.”
Thailand can serve as an economic bridge between Iran and East Asia, said
Rouhani, calling for a more active participation of private sectors of both
countries in efforts to promote Tehran-Bangkok cooperation.
The Iranian chief executive further underlined the need for bolstering
banking cooperation between the two states as a step towards fostering
Iran and Thailand could soon double the level of their trade exchanges by
implementing agreements and joint projects, Rouhani added.
The Thai premier, for his part, underscored the necessity for opening a new
page in Tehran-Bangkok relations.
Prayuth also stressed that the Thai government is resolved to boost
cooperation with Iran and noted that bilateral educational, cultural and
scientific ties should be expanded at the same pace as political and
economic relations between the two sides.
According to Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs, trade value between Tehran
and Bangkok stands at around $794.46 million.
Thailand to Revive Iranian Economic Ties through Rice Deals, Trade
aims to resume rice exports to Iran, the Thai Commerce Ministry said (Oct.
10), following a trade meeting between the two countries in the Thai capital
Trade leaders from the two nations met on the sidelines of the ACD meeting.
Thailand and Iran agreed to resume bilateral trade and aim to increase their
shared market from $310 million to $3 billion by 2021, said Thai Commerce
Minister Apiradee Tantraporn, following a meeting with her Iranian
counterpart Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh.
Thailand, the world’s second-largest rice exporter, also aims to export
700,000 tons of rice to Iran per year, Apiradee told reporters, the same
level as before the economic sanctions were imposed in 2012.
In February, Thailand and Iran signed four memorandums of understanding
worth 4.3 billion baht ($123 million) that would see 300,000 tons of white
and jasmine rice shipped to Iran.
Iran’s Health Ministry has yet to finish inspecting the quality of the Thai
grain, but the process should be completed within this year, Apiradee said,
adding that shipping would begin soon afterwards.
Thailand’s rice industry welcomed the agreement. “Iran is an old market we
have always wanted to return to,” Charoen Laothamatas, president of the Thai
Rice Exporters’ Association, was quoted as saying.
Thailand aims to export 9.5 million tons of rice in 2016 and has already
exported 6.2 million tons until August.
Thai Airways and Thai AirAsia X started selling direct flights between
Bangkok and Tehran this year in a bid to attract wealthy tourists from the
Iran is an integral part of Asia and a gateway that connects East to
West. We have our roots in Asia and our history, culture and arts
have been shaped by this ancient continent. We are committed to
remain with Asia and continue to define our identity as Asians.
Rouhani Addresses Asia Cooperation Dialogue Summit
The Iranian President said that Asia’s power is dependent on self-confidence
and a shared will for convergence. “We must open our markets, engage in
greater economic interaction, start domestic structural reform, move towards
greater transparency and engage in extensive coordination on setting policy;
and by doing so, take long strides to improve the quality of life for our
citizens and elevate the standing of Asia on the world stage,” President
Rouhani said in his address to the second Summit of the Asia Cooperation
Dialogue (ACD) in Bangkok (Oct 10).
‘Today, all acknowledge that no global issues could be addressed without
close cooperation of Asian powers. Asia plays a pivotal role in global
efforts aimed at resolving such major issues as climate change,
environmental crisis, social problems, including refugees, illiteracy and
poverty; and the role of Asian states in promoting collective security is
indispensable,’ Rouhani said.
ACD is an inter-governmental organization created in 2002 to help integrate
separate regional organizations -- such as ASEAN, SAARC, the Persian Gulf
Cooperation Council, and the Eurasian Economic Union -- incorporating every
Asian country to build an Asian Community without duplicating other
More excerpts from the Iranian President’s address at the ACD:
Iran is an integral part of Asia and a gateway that connects East to West.
We have our roots in Asia and our history, culture and arts have been shaped
by this ancient continent. We are committed to remain with Asia and continue
to define our identity as Asians.
One cannot talk about security and work towards cohesive development, while
ignoring terrorist atrocities in Iraq and Syria, or remaining indifferent to
the bombardment of defenseless women and children in Yemen as well as brutal
behaviors of the Zionist regime in Palestine.
Asian spirit uses diplomacy and dialogue as its main tools to resolve
hostilities. In meeting the challenges before us, our forum must continue to
use the same tools.
Having secured the historic nuclear accord, the Islamic Republic of Iran is
eager to participate actively in the value chain as well as develop new
markets and provide secure supply of energy and consequently play an even
more active role in Asian collaborations. Blessed with a young and educated
work force, extensive oil and gas reserves and an advantageous geographical
position, Iran has aimed at an annual 8 percent growth rate. In addition,
attracting more foreign investment is one of Iran’s priorities. Therefore,
we invite and welcome Asian investors and have prepared the ground for
mutually advantageous projects.
Due to the nuclear accord and the lifting of sanctions, Iran’s economy is
poised to experience considerable growth in the coming years. Geographical
advantage, security, and considerable investment in rail, air and sea lanes
have secured the position of Iran as a major international corridor. At the
same time, the Islamic Republic of Iran aims to play a more active role in
the Asian-European transportation network. By developing its capacities,
Iran is seeking to become a new hub in rail, air and sea transportation in
As part of its main goals, the ACD works to expand cultural interaction and
tourism among Asian communities. Again, drawing on its natural, cultural and
historic attractions, Iran is trying to utilize its tourism industry as a
main prime mover of the economy.
Globally, a secure supply of energy is a major challenge to sustainable
development. Iran is ready – through multilateral investment schemes and
expansion of its natural gas sector – to increase the security of the energy
supply in Asia and promote natural gas as a clean and alternative fuel that
serves to improve the environment.
Security and stability are prerequisites for development. At the same time,
development is imperative for ensuring security and stability. Through
comprehensive development, living conditions improve and cultural diversity
– as well as the rights of fellow human beings – is respected. The ACD can
help expand trade and economic cooperation and by connecting the east and
west of Asia create a promising vision of peace, tranquility and stability
throughout the continent; and by doing so create a better future for all
inhabitants of Asia.
The future of Asia belongs to our children and grandchildren, and its full
blossoming depends on more stable and dynamic ties among the Asian nations.
Cognizant of this, my administration is committed to expanding trade as well
as scientific, cultural and technological ties between the Iranian nation
and Asian communities and by doing so – as an influential member of the Asia
Cooperation Dialogue -- we will positively contribute to the ongoing efforts
to transform this ancient continent to a powerhouse for global progress.”