Thailand aims to form networks with Islamic states by helping them with food security, says the Department of Export Promotion.
The country recently observed an economic committee meeting of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC).
Nuntawan Sakuntanaga, the director-general of the Export Promotion Department, says Thailand is focused on developing new markets and creating trade partnerships; the involvement with 57 OIC members is one strategy for achieving that goal.
The kingdom is set to expand trade with these countries to account for 20% of total products traded by 2015.
OIC members are keen to reduce tariff and non-tariff barriers as much as possible, and six members signed an agreement on a trade framework. They are Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.
Panumas Malasee, who directs the Thai Trade Office in Istanbul, says that countries in the Middle East have expressed concerns about agriculture related to food security and water quality.
OIC members currently have different halal standards and do not want a single standard, so three regulation frameworks will be drafted for consideration in future.
Mr Panumas said since Thailand has potential to tap the market, especially for crops, the country should engage in trade activity and exchange missions with OIC members, but such activity depends on the OIC’s approval.