Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– A 10-member Thai business delegation will arrive on Monday in the capital Dhaka aiming to strengthen bilateral trade relations between the two countries.

The delegation will meet with local trade bodies, business leaders and private entrepreneurs during the tour at a city hotel, Thai trade officials said.

Suwapong Sirisorm, Charge d’ Affaires of Royal Thai Embassy in Dhaka, Supapt Ongsangkoon, Director of Thai Commerce Ministry, President of Bangladesh-Thai Chamber of Commerce and Industry MA Momen and president of Thai-BangladeshBusiness Council Mingpant Chayavichitsilp will address the seminar.

Bangladesh and Thailand are strategic partners in the region, officials said, adding both the nations cooperate with each other on the bilateral and multilateral fronts.

Bangladesh’s business leaders say although Thailand offered duty concessions to a total 229 Bangladeshi products in 2004, the country has suffered from a chronic trade deficit.

The annualized two-way trade between Dhaka and Bangkok amounts to US$700 million.

Bangladesh brings in Thai goods worth of US$ 600 million a year while ships goods of US $100 million, leaving a trade gap favouring the Southeast Asian nation, according to statistics.

Bangladesh’s major export items include finished jute products, knitwear, ceramic ware, light engineering products, leather products, acrylic yarn, fertiliser, shrimp, shark fin and fish maws, frozen foods, and dry fish.

The country imports vegetable products, fresh fruits, processed food, mineral products, textile articles, oil, paper, iron and steel articles, rubber, plastic products, cement, polymers, woven fabrics, synthetic yarn, refrigerators, sugar, chemical products, machinery, and fish from Thailand.

BBN/SI/AD-19Sept10-11:42 am (BST)