Good Indo-Thailand relations as frontrunner of robust India ASEAN ties

Good Indo-Thailand relations as frontrunner of robust India ASEAN ties
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Good Indo-Thailand relations as frontrunner of robust India ASEAN ties 
During the height of cold war period, some of the nations decided to work without falling into the cold war dynamics and established regional groupings that were geared towards the objectives of social/cultural development and of course authentic and concrete economic progress for themselves. 
Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) was established with the same orientation in the year 1967 through the Bangkok Declaration with the motto of ‘One Vision One Identity One Community’. Covering roughly close to 9% of the global population, the combined economic potential of this grouping could be ranked as seventh biggest in the world.
India has always been engaged with trade and business ventures with these South East Asian economies since centuries and continues to do so till age except for a brief interruption during cold war. More robust attempts have been made through pacts like ASEAN-India Free Trade Agreement that are aimed at facilitating trade and business between India and the ASEAN nations. 
Thailand has been the founder member of ASEAN since 1967 and its trade relations with India has been a success icon for other nations of the region. In fact, Indo – ASEAN two way trade figures have a substantial portion derived from the trade volumes between India and Thailand. 
There has been an increasing assertion that in order to propel Indo-ASEAN relations to the next level, Indo-Thailand relations have to be broad based and act as the frontrunner. Bilateral trade between the two has been growing robustly since the last decade recording USD8.2 billion in 2011 and USD8.6 billion in 2012. The estimates for the year 2014 figures are expected to cross USD16 billion mark. 
Good Indo-Thailand relations as frontrunner of robust India ASEAN ties
The geographical proximity of Thailand with India’s North East Region has the potential to boost growth in the region which is one of the most underdeveloped regions of India. Increased trade with Thailand particularly through land cannot left the northeast states unaffected. The most promising potential is Thailand acting as a social - geographical bridge for the benefit of Indian and ASEAN community.
The Indian trade relations with Thailand in the field of tourism, manufacturing, transportation, agriculture, electronics and ICT have been held as icons of success for the members of ASEAN other than Thailand. As of now there are no distinct aberrations between the two except the services sector professionals’ movement and this issue is tried to be sorted at the earliest! 
The proposed India – Thailand FTA for which negotiations are going on for almost a decade, could prove worthy in making the AIFTA (ASEAN-Indian FTA) a reality. Although for increasing numbers of goods, the customs duty has been reduced to negligible by virtue of various rounds of negotiations between the two nations, the optimized benefits are yet to occur through full scale India Thailand FTA. Therefore for generating real substance to India ASEAN relations, good and robust Indo Thailand relations are a prerequisite.  
  Good Indo-Thailand relations
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