New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Friday hold a meeting with visiting Thailand’s PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, who arrived here on a three-day visit on Thursday. During the talks, the two sides are likely to explore ways to expand maritime security cooperation, deal with the threat of terrorism and boost trade.
There are indications that both leaders will discuss the situation in the South China Sea. Modi will host lunch in honour of his Thai counterpart. The Thai PM will also call on Vice President M Hamid Ansari.
Chan-o-Cha is expected to deliver a speech at the business event hosted by FICCI, CII and ASSOCHAM on Friday . The Thai Prime Minister is accompanied by his spouse Naraporn Chan-o-cha and a high-level delegation comprising several cabinet ministers, senior officials and a 46-member business delegation.
Chan-o-Cha’s, who arrived on his first visit here as Prime Minister, was received at the airport by Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju yesterday.
“India’s excellent relations with Thailand are an important and integral component of India’s strategic partnership with ASEAN. India’s ‘Act East’ policy is complemented by Thailand’s ‘Look West’ policy in bringing the two countries closer,” the External Affairs Ministry had said in a statement.
The India-Thailand Joint Business Forum will hold its first meeting during Chan-o-Cha’s visit and make recommendations for boosting trade ties between the two countries. He will visit Bodhgaya on Saturday before returning to Thailand.
“India and Thailand have strong economic synergies and the diversifying profile of growing bilateral trade and investment reflects the growth and maturity of the interaction between the two economies,” said the MEA.
Issues related to the proposed Free Trade Agreement between the two countries are likely to figure in talks. The volume of current annual bilateral trade between the two countries is nearly USD 8 billion and both sides are keen to expand it further.
Earlier, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra had paid a State visit to India in January 2012 and was the Chief Guest for the Republic Day celebrations.
Maritime security cooperation between the two countries in the Indian Ocean is already “very strong”, said Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs Preeti Saran, adding ways to further enhance it may be explored during the talks.
Thailand has shown interest in joint ventures in defence production and procurement of defence platforms from India.