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Thailand wants tourists, Maldives investments in health, food

Staff writer |
The government of Maldives is aiming to attract Thai investment in tourism, fisheries, the food industry and hospitals. Those are the main results of the first meeting of the Joint Trade Committee between the two countries.

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Thailand's Trade Negotiations Department will explore opportunities to attract Maldivians to Thai healthcare facilities and increase exports of rice, food and textiles, together with skilled labour in service industries.

The department's director-general, Piramol Charoenpao, said Maldives would encourage Thai enterprises to invest in hotels and resorts, together with infrastructure projects such as a harbour and airport as well as the healthcare, health-tourism, fisheries and processed-food sectors.

Maldives also called for visa requirements to be waived to boost the number of Maldivian tourists and entrepreneurs in Thailand. The Thailand government wants to see an increase in Maldivian tourists, particularly medical tourists. Thailand has asked Maldives to include Thai hospitals in health-insurance schemes, so Maldivian patients can ask for medical treatment here.

Thailand also asked Maldives to import more Thai goods such as rice, agricultural products, processed foods, textiles and electronic parts. Additionally, Thailand wants to learn more about Maldivian sustainable fisheries policies and management practices. The trade agreement between the two countries aims to increase joint trade and investment to $200 million by 2018.

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