Fiorentine fusion: Ttalian-Thai forum sparks economic amore

Image courtesy of Bangkok Post

The ninth annual Italian-Thai Business Forum (ITBF) was recently held in Florence, Italy, organised by the Thai Chamber of Commerce, the Thai Board of Trade, and the Italian Embassy in Bangkok, the event aims to bolster economic cooperation between the two nations, which have enjoyed 156 years of diplomatic relations.

Business leaders from 16 Thai and 13 Italian companies attended the forum. The total trading volume between Thailand and Italy in 2023 reached US$5.06 billion (190 billion baht), reflecting the strong economic ties between the two countries.

In May, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin visited Italy and discussed collaborative trade and investment with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. Meloni is scheduled to visit Thailand in February 2025 to further these discussions.

The forum included the attendance of H.E. Paolo Dionisi, Italian ambassador to Thailand, and H.E. Puttaporn Ewtoksan, Thai ambassador to Italy.

Co-chair of the ITBF and advisor to Central Group, Busaba Chirathivat highlighted the forum’s role in enabling executives from both countries to showcase their business strengths and potential.

“The forum serves as a platform for executives from the private sectors of both countries to present their businesses’ strengths and potential, aiming to forge stronger partnerships that can propel target industries in a variety of areas.”

Effective collaboration

Italy ranks as Thailand’s 24th commercial partner and third among EU partners. This forum is intended to facilitate deeper trade and investment ties, fostering tangible and effective collaboration.

Vice-President of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, Thawatchai Setthachinda, emphasised the importance of continuing Unioncamere, the Italian Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Crafts and Agriculture.

Unioncamere supports small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), especially in sectors like food, fashion, and lifestyle (ceramics and furniture), promoting them to the international market, said Busaba.

“With nearly a decade of success, the forum demonstrates the two nations’ willingness to increase possibilities for trade and investment cooperation.”

The Italian firms that participated in the forum included Italmobiliare, Intesa Sanpaolo, CIS Sicily & Unicitrus, CNH Industrial, Ferrero, Cavagna Group, Inalca Food & Beverage – Cremonini Group, IVECO, SAIPEM, Vittoria, Danieli, Pirelli, and Leonardo.

The Thai companies present at the forum were Central Group, Mitr Phol Group, Thaivivat Insurance, Vatana Phaisal Engineering, Bangkok Bank, Merchant Partners Asset Management, SCG JWD, Pin Siam, Thai Hua Rubber, Allied Metals (Thailand) Co, Thai Union Group, Boon Rawd Brewery, Graphene Creations, Thai Summit Autoparts Industry, Global Power Synergy, and Deesawat Industries.

The longstanding forum underscores the commitment of both nations to enhance their economic cooperation, creating opportunities for increased trade and investment, reported Bangkok Post.

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Ryan Turner

Ryan is a journalism student from Mahidol University with a passion for history, writing and delivering news content with a rich storytelling narrative.

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