Trade and economic ties are an important part of relations between Russia and Thailand. They are based on the following intergovernmental bilateral documents: the General Trade Agreement dated December 25, 1970, the Convention for the avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income of September 23, 1999, the Agreement on Cooperation between the Chamber of Commerce of Russia and the Chamber of Commerce of Thailand of 1997, the Agreement on Cooperation between the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs and the Federation of the Thai Industries of 2003 and the Agreement on Cooperation between the Russian-Thai Business Council and the Thai-Russian Business Council, the Memorandum of Understanding and Partnership between the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia and the Board of Investment of Thailand dated 2015, Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Energy of the Kingdom of Thailand on energy cooperation dated 2015, memorandums of understanding between ministries of agriculture, ministries of environment and ecology, Ministry of Economic Development of Russia and Ministry of Commerce of Thailand of 2016.
According to the Federal Customs Service of Russia the trade volume between Russia and Thailand in 2017 totaled 2,231.5 mln. US dollars (26.7% increase comparing to 2016). Russian export amounted to 514.2 mln. US dollars (16.4% decrease) and 1,717.3 mln. US dollars of import (49.8% growth). According to the Thai trade statistics the volume of bilateral trade in 2017 reached 3,130.4 mln. US dollars (61.2% growth) with Russian export of 2,095.3 mln. US dollars and import of 1,035.1 mln. US dollars (plus 79.1%).
In January-September 2018 the bilateral trade volume reached 1,851.7 mln. US dollars (30.5% growth comparing the same period of 2017) with Russia export of 533.9 mln. US dollars (plus 73.6%) and import of 317.8 mln. US dollars (18.5% growth).
In the structure of Russian exports to Thailand most of supplies account for the following goods: crude oil and other raw energy resources (44.3%), metals and metal parts (17.8%), chemical industry products (16.7%), machines, equipment and vehicles (13.0%); import from Thailand: machines, equipment and vehicles (62.4%), chemical industry products (16.1%), food and agricultural commodities (9.6%).
Investment cooperation is progressing. The largest Thai investment into the Russian economy is made by the leading agro-industrial holding “Charoen Pokphand Foods” which is conducting an investment project on building an animal feed plant in Lukhovitsy of the Moscow regions and 12 pig farms in Moscow, Kaluga, Kaliningrad and other regions. The volume of investments by the end of 2018 exceeded 1,6 billion US dollars. The executives of the CPF announced plans to develop poultry business (in 2015 the company bought «Severnaya» and «Voyskovitsi» chicken farms).
In 2016 on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum the CPF, the Russian Direct Investment Fund and the Ryazan region’s administration signed a trilateral MoU on implementation of 1 billion US dollars investment project in Ryazan region. It will include both raising cattle as well as production and sale of dairy products. In 2017 a provisional contract on implementing the project was signed.
The major Thai state-run oil and gas company «PTT Plc.» has been showing sustainable interest in Russian energy market. Its joint projects with «Rosneft», «Gazprom» and «Novatek» are at various stages of implementation.
The Joint Russian-Thai commission on bilateral cooperation (co-chaired by H.E. Mr. Denis Manturov, Minister of Industry and Trade from the Russian Side and by H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs from the Thai Side) remains an important mechanism of bilateral interaction. The sixth meeting of the Commission took place on July 15, 2015 in Moscow. During the meeting the Sides discussed issues of cooperation in the fields of industry, trade, agriculture, energy and transport and noted an increased interest in mutual investment. In addition, the final document, which is a roadmap for bilateral cooperation on a wide range of areas, was adopted. The seventh meeting of the Commission will be held on December 27, 2018 in Bangkok.
There are two Sub-Commissions within the framework of the Joint Commission: on trade and economic cooperation (its last meeting was held in Bangkok in April 2017) and on agricultural cooperation (its last meeting was held in Bangkok in July 2018).
The Russian-Thai and Thai-Russian business councils have been operating since October 2006 and November 2007 respectively. The Russian-Thai business council comparing around 40 Russian companies. Its chairman is Mr. Ivan Polyakov. The Thai-Russian business council consists of the Board of Trade of Thailand, the Federation of Thai industries, the Thai Bankers’ Association, as well as representatives of government agencies and business community of the country. Its chairman is Mr. Kriengkrai Thiennukul.
There is a regular exchange of trips of business missions of the two countries.
The Trade Representation of Russia is based in Bangkok and the Office of Commercial Affairs of the Thai Embassy functions in Moscow.