A Joint Working Group will be formed by the ports of Visakhapatnam and Ranong in Thailand to explore business opportunities of mutual benefit.
Separate memoranda of understanding (MoUs) were signed between the Port Authority of Thailand (PAT) and the ports of Visakhapatnam, Kolkata and Chennai to increase export and import trade through cargo handling. The Indian ports will also be allowed the use of Ranong, which is located on the western side of Thailand and is closer to India as compared to Thailand’s leading ports Bangkok and Laem Chabang.
Visakhapatnam Port Chairman K. Rama Mohan Rao told that, the MoUs were inked at the just concluded Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sector Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) here to strengthen bilateral ties between India and Thailand.
India wants to develop its ports as a strategic gateway to South East Asia. Nepal is using Kolkata and Visakhapatnam ports as gateways for its EXIM (export-import) trade.
During the recent visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Thailand, the broad contours of bilateral trade and the need to improve cooperation between various ports was discussed with Thailand Prime Minister General (retd) Prayut Chan-o-cha.
Elaborating on the MoU signed with Port of Ranong, VPT Deputy Chairman P.L. Haranadh said that they were planning to explore coastal shipping in a big way besides tapping the huge trade potential in the Bay of Bengal countries and land-locked countries like Nepal.