Thailand and Bangladesh are enhancing their bilateral relations following the arrival of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Thailand on 24 April 2024. Since her visit began, the two nations have signed five agreements and a memorandum of understanding, which are designed to boost cooperation in sectors such as trade, tourism, and infrastructure.

The agreements involve negotiating a Thailand-Bangladesh free trade agreement, a visa exemption for official passport holders, energy cooperation, joint tourism promotion, and mutual assistance in customs matters.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin expressed optimism about strengthened ties and the potential for expanded economic collaboration. Bilateral trade is currently valued at US$1.2 billion. The two sides have held a series of discussions to create a resilient supply chain and improve investment opportunities.

Both leaders also agreed to enhance cooperation in agriculture, halal food production, and food security. They discussed improving infrastructure and connectivity, notably establishing a direct shipping route between Thailand’s Ranong Port and Bangladesh’s Chittagong Port. The talks also covered cooperation in medical tourism, including training and capacity building for Bangladeshi medical personnel, with Thailand committing to continue offering competitive medical services.

During the last 27 years the exports of Bangladesh to Thailand have increased at an annualized rate of 4.53%, from $25.4M in 1995 to $84M in 2022. In 2022, Thailand exported $1.11B to Bangladesh.

Bangladesh and Thailand signed a trade agreement on 22 August 1997, MOU on account trade arrangement and formed joint chambers of commerce to promote bilateral trade between the two friendly countries. The private sectors of the two countries are working together to materialize complementarities between the two economies. These complementarities are likely to be symbiotic, combining Bangladesh’s thirst for investment and Thailand’s keenness
to expand its markets. The momentum is most strongly felt in the private sectors of the two countries.