Thailand and Malaysia have agreed to strengthen cooperation on trade and investment in six sectors, including oil and gas, energy, rubber, automobiles, sugar and rice, and tourism, the Commercial Ministry of Thailand has said.

Thai Commerce Minister Niwatthumrong Boonsongpaisan said the two countries will promote cross-border trade by streamlining customs procedures and facilitating their logistics growth.

Thailand earned 16.5 billion USD from border trade with Malaysia in 2012. The figure is expected to grow strongly under the Thai plan to draw Malaysian investors to do business in the country. Thailand also is scheduled to host the second Joint Trade Committee meeting in Chiang Mai in mid-November 2013.

Malaysia is Thailand’s largest trading partner in ASEAN, and the fourth largest overall. Bilateral trade has grown by an annual average of 10.54 percent during the past five years. It hit 26.5 billion USD in 2012 and 13 billion USD in the first half of this year.-VNA