Biggest Australian department store may open sourcing office in Thailand

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BANGKOK, July 29 — Phusit Ratanakulsereroengrit, a senior official of Thailand’s Department of International Trade Promotion, said representatives of Woolworths Limited want to discuss business deals with about 60 Thai operators as it plans to open a sourcing office in Asia Pacific and is especially interested in Thailand.

He said that Woolworths had more than 3,000 branches in Australia and New Zealand and there is a good chance to develop a long-term trade partnership to increase Thai exports.

More than 80 per cent of Thai operators in the business negotiation are in the industries of frozen and processed seafood, chilled, frozen and processed fresh vegetables and fruits, and rice, while the rest are in furniture, home decor, toys, electronic products, health and beauty products and apparel.

Mr Phusit said that the value of Thai-Australian trade exceeded US$10 billion last year and increased by three times from 2005 when both countries began their free trade agreement.

The main Thai exports to Australia include automobiles, auto parts and accessories, plastic pellets and plastic products, steel, stainless steel and steel products, air-conditioners and parts, canned and processed seafood, rubber products, gems, jewelry, cosmetics, soaps and skin care products.