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Austrade branches into Phuket

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AUSTRADE has opened an export facilitation office in Phuket, Thailand, to take advantage of booming business opportunities in construction, food and beverage, and marine.

“Phuket is becoming a regional economic centre for Thailand, with more global companies setting up business there to take advantage of opportunities,” said Austrade’s Bangkok-based senior trade commissioner Sean Riley.

Phuket’s economy grew 4.6% in 2005, driven by tourism rebounding from the 2004 boxing day tsunami.

Austrade said the Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA) was boosting Australian exporters’ competitiveness, having eliminated more than half of Thailand’s 5,000 tariffs.

Two-way trade between Australia and Thailand grew by over 30% in 2004-05, while Australian exports to Thailand are up by 34.7% from $3.1 billion to $4.1 billion in the same period.

“Phuket and southern Thai businesses are familiar with Australian products and services, and rate them highly,” said Austrade’s new Phuket-based business development manager Alisara Na Takuatung.

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