Public Diplomacy Public Diplomacy

Joint Statement on Prime Minister's visit to Thailand

May 30, 2013

  1. At the invitation of the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, H.E. Ms. Yingluck Shinawatra, the Prime Minister of the Republic of India, H.E. Dr. Manmohan Singh, paid an Official Visit to Thailand from 30-31 May 2013. He was accompanied by the Minister of External Affairs, a high level official and media delegation.
  2. The Prime Minister of India presented a sapling of the sacred Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya as a special gift to His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej as a symbol of the shared cultural heritage between India and Thailand.
  3. The official talks between Thailand and India were held on 30 May 2013 in a warm, cordial and friendly atmosphere, reflecting the excellent bilateral relations and friendship that exist between the two countries. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra hosted an official banquet in honour of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and the Indian delegation.
  4. The two Prime Ministers held wide-ranging discussions on bilateral, regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest. They reviewed the progress made in recent years on building a stronger, broader and deeper relationship across the range of Thailand-India interests, based on shared historical, religious and cultural ties. They also noted with satisfaction that Thailand and India have developed a strong and mutually beneficial cooperation at bilateral, regional and multilateral levels and have played a significant role in fostering cooperation, contributing to socio-economic development, peace and stability in the region.
  5. They agreed that, while substantial progress has been made, there was considerable potential for expanding the relationship further. Thailand’s ‘Look West’ and India’s ‘Look East’ policies will be pivotal for the development of the Thailand-India relationship towards a strategic partnership. Both sides also agreed that the visit has imparted greater momentum to the on-going bilateral ties.

    Economic, Trade and Investment Cooperation

  6. The two Prime Ministers took note with satisfaction that the bilateral trade between Thailand and India has grown significantly in recent years. Over the past five years, trade between Thailand and India increased at over 15% per annum. Last year, bilateral trade crossed USD 8.6 billion. Both sides hoped that bilateral trade would continue to further expand for the mutual benefit and sustainable economic growth of both countries.
  7. The two Prime Ministers appreciated the growth in investment between Thailand and India in recent years, which has contributed to economic growth and job creation in both countries. Last year, Thailand’s Board of Investment approved 25 Indian projects which were worth over USD 200 Million. Meanwhile, investment in India by the Thai private sector is growing steadily. FDI inflows from Thailand to India were over USD 12 million last year. They welcomed the new initiatives taken to facilitate and increase the flow of investments between the two countries.
  8. India invited participation of the Thai private sector in India’s plans to modernize and upgrade manufacturing and infrastructure sectors, especially in Delhi-Mumbai and Chennai-Bangalore Industrial Corridors, the Buddhist circuit and the North-East States of India. India also welcomed Thai investment particularly in sectors such as ports and highways, electronics, automobile components, food processing and power generation, as well as tourism and hospitality facilities. India expressed its interest in participating in mega transport and infrastructure development projects in Thailand.
  9. The two Prime Ministers welcomed establishment of Thailand-India Business Forum with the involvement of the private sector to stimulate expansion of bilateral trade and investments, and facilitate business partnerships. They expressed the hope that the Thailand-India Business Forum will expand the existing ties between private sectors in the two countries.
  10. In order to further create a supportive atmosphere for trade and investment promotion as well as to facilitate travel of business persons of both countries, the two sides agreed to provide fast track business visa service to the qualified entrepreneurs of each other’s countries.
  11. The two Prime Ministers underscored the need to have an institutional arrangement on the social security benefits of the workers in each other’s countries, which will facilitate labour mobility and investments between the two countries. Both sides noted with satisfaction the positive discussions on Social Security Agreement between the two countries that would facilitate and streamline the movement of professionals and workers and expressed the hope that this agreement would be finalized at an early date. In this connection, they agreed to discuss a proposal for the establishment of a framework to enable regulated deployment of labour from India into the required sectors in Thailand.
  12. The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed their strong commitment to achieve a comprehensive and balanced outcome of the Thailand-India FTA negotiations. Both sides appreciated the progress made in the negotiations since the last round held in New Delhi in November 2012. Given the emerging convergence on most issues, both sides expressed hope that the negotiations be concluded soon after the next round of negotiations in June-July 2013 in Bangkok. The Prime Ministers advised their respective negotiators to show the required flexibility in concluding the long pending negotiations to give a further fillip to the bilateral trade which has shown healthy growth even during the current economic slowdown.
  13. They welcomed the successful conclusion of the negotiations on the ASEAN-India Agreement on Trade in Services and the Agreement on Investment under the broader framework of Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) between India and the ASEAN.
  14. They also agreed that the BIMSTEC FTA will be beneficial to the region and encouraged the BIMSTEC members to accelerate the negotiations with an aim to concluding the negotiations at the earliest opportunity.

    Connectivity

  15. The two Prime Ministers emphasized the importance of enhancing connectivity between the two countries through regional cooperation and the development of road and shipping infrastructure linking Thailand and India. They welcomed the setting up of the Thailand-India Joint Working Group on Connectivity and Infrastructure to help expedite cooperation on connectivity initiatives in both countries as well as in third countries. They took note of the fruitful outcomes of the first meeting held in New Delhi in September 2012, including the possibilities for cooperation on the Dawei Deep Sea Port and Special Economic Zone projects.
  16. Both leaders reaffirmed the importance of the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway Project, as it would greatly enhance the connectivity between the Mekong sub-region and India. They also noted that the Joint Task Force Meeting on the Trilateral Highway, held in New Delhi in September 2012 agreed to make all efforts to complete the trilateral road connectivity by 2016. The meeting also emphasized the necessity to develop the infrastructure to ensure fast and seamless transit along the Trilateral Highway as well as an increase in trade, investment, services and tourism activities.
  17. In this connection, the Indian side welcomed Thailand’s proposal to host the next India–Myanmar–Thailand Joint Task Force Meeting on the Trilateral Highway Project, as well as the second Meeting of the Thailand-India Joint Working Group on Connectivity and Infrastructure in June-July 2013.
  18. The Thai side proposed to host the Third India-Myanmar-Thailand Ministerial Meeting on Transport Linkages to address the issues of infrastructure and facilitation. This is aimed at maximizing the utilization of the Trilateral Highway as a means of strengthening regional economic growth and integration. Thailand will liaise with India and Myanmar regarding the appropriate date for the Meeting.
  19. The Thai side informed the Indian side of the progress that Thailand and Myanmar have made on the project for the development of the Dawei Special Economic Zone in southern Myanmar, which, once operational, would further enhance regional connectivity including port-to-port linkages with India and open enormous business opportunities for the region. In this regard, the Thai side invited the Indian business sector to invest in the Dawei Special Economic Zone, especially in the areas where Indian companies have expertise, such as steel, manufacturing, power, petrochemicals, services and others. Thailand welcomed India's invitation to organize a road show in India in this respect later this year.
  20. Both sides noted with satisfaction that connectivity between India and Thailand through aviation has developed continuously and increased significantly. There are currently around 150 flights between Thailand and India per week. The two Prime Ministers welcomed new air routes by Thai Airways connecting Bangkok with Ahmedabad as well as Phuket - Delhi and Phuket - Mumbai. They also expressed their support for more air connections between both countries.

    Security and Defence

  21. The two Prime Ministers appreciated the close interactions and regular exchanges between the Armed Forces of Thailand and India including the official visit of the Thai Defence Minister to India in December 2012, the conduct of the Defence Dialogue in February 2013 and the regular Coordinated Patrol (CORPATs) conducted by the Indian Navy and the Royal Thai Navy. The Thai side also welcomed the visit of the Indian Defence Minister to Thailand in June 2013. Both sides agreed to enhance anti-piracy cooperation, promote security of sea lanes and Coast Guard cooperation to contribute to the maintenance of peace in the region and to work towards ensuring safety and security of navigation in the Indian Ocean. Both sides agreed to continue providing scholarships and training programmes for the sharing of expertise.
  22. Thailand expressed interest in India’s defence industry, which has competitive production and advanced technology. Both countries agreed to pursue defence industry collaboration in areas of mutual interest.
  23. They also welcomed the deepening of cooperation through the Joint Working Group on Security Cooperation. The 7th India-Thailand JWG on Security Cooperation, held in Thailand in July 2012, agreed to expedite the implementation of the five-year programme finalized by the Joint Working Group. Progress on the implementation of the Work Programme will be reported at the next JWG meeting, to be hosted by India.
  24. The two Prime Ministers welcomed the signing of the bilateral Extradition Treaty which would provide a legal basis for bilateral cooperation in dealing with elements acting against national interests. Both leaders reiterated their resolve to significantly enhance bilateral cooperation in combating terrorism, organized crime, drug trafficking, counterfeiting and human trafficking. They agreed to strengthen cooperation in the field of counter terrorism and intelligence sharing through expedited follow-up of each other’s requests for legal assistance.

    Science and Technology

  25. The two Prime Ministers acknowledged the significance of cooperation in science and technology. Exchanges of technology, R&D, education and skills are encouraged to broaden ties between the scientific and technological communities of both governments. The leaders noted the importance of continued cooperation and declared their commitment to improve coordination in science and technology.
  26. Both leaders acknowledged the progress made under the Programme of Cooperation in the field of science and technology and welcomed the implementation of joint research projects. They agreed that capacity building and joint projects on space application under existing institutional arrangements and agreements such as ‘urban mapping’, ‘agriculture crop mapping’ and ‘archaeological atlas’ would help in the betterment of lives of the people of the two countries.

    Culture, Education and People-to-People Exchange

  27. Both countries agreed to deepen cultural and historical ties between the two countries by promoting diverse cultural exchanges. Both sides welcomed the setting up of the Thailand-India Exchange Programme which would help accelerate people-to-people contacts in cultural and other fields benefiting both societies. Both sides agreed to further promote exchanges among parliamentarians, academicians, scientists, artists and intellectuals.
  28. Recognizing the significance of educational collaboration, the two Prime Ministers agreed to promote more student exchanges at all levels and expressed interest in further enhancing the mobility and exchange of students between India and Thailand. The Thai side noted with appreciation that India would continue to offer 90 scholarships under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC), 26 scholarships under the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and scholarships under AYUSH each year. Both sides noted with satisfaction the contribution of the ICCR Chair for Sanskrit Studies at Silpakorn University and welcomed the decision to establish an ICCR Chair for Hindi at Thammasat University, which has offered a Bachelor of Arts programme in Indian Studies for the first time this year while other universities in Thailand continue to offer Indian Studies courses.
  29. The two Prime Ministers noted that institutional links between the two countries are progressing very well. They welcomed the increase in direct university to university collaboration and progress in the realisation of the shared goal of making the modern Nalanda University an international institution of excellence. India appreciated the Government of Thailand's contribution of USD 100,000 to the University's Establishment Fund, as well as contributions totalling more than USD 33,000 by Thailand's private sector, particularly those having investments in India, to the Thailand Fund for Nalanda University. The private contributions will be used to finance students and academicians pursuing Buddhist Studies, Philosophy and Comparative Religion.
  30. Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to promote Thailand-India cultural exchanges. Thailand welcomed activities by the Indian Cultural Centre in Bangkok, which had been enhancing Thai citizens’ understanding of the Indian culture.
  31. Both sides discussed the implementation of the bilateral Cultural Exchange Programme for 2012-14, and in this connection welcomed the offer by the Indian Museum in Kolkata to hold a major exhibition on Buddhist art in Bangkok in collaboration with National Museum of Thailand.
  32. People-to-people links are central to the relationship between Thailand and India. The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed that both countries welcomed all legitimate travellers, including tourists, students, workers and monks. In this context, they expressed satisfaction over the progress made in the first two meetings of the ad hoc Thailand-India Joint Working Group on Visa and Consular Matters to facilitate and encourage people-to-people contact between the two countries in addressing issues related to travel, visa facilitation, the safety of tourists and employment with a view to achieve mutually satisfactory solutions.

    Regional and Multilateral Cooperation

  33. The two sides expressed their desire to further deepen their valued partnership and cooperation in the context of ASEAN-India strategic partnership as well as BIMSTEC. Both sides agreed to foster regional ties, particularly through the enhancement of economic, scientific, educational and technical cooperation.
  34. Both leaders reiterated their commitment to development projects and capacity building in the lower Mekong region through the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC). In this context, both leaders supported the setting up of the MGC Asian Traditional Textiles Museum in Siem Reap, Cambodia. They also endorsed the usefulness of the India-CLMV Quick Impact Project Fund to give a fillip to short gestation projects under MGC.
  35. The two sides acknowledged that the Leaders-led East Asia Summit can play a significant role as a forum for building an open, inclusive, transparent and participative architecture of regional cooperation in Asia and the Pacific to promote peace, stability and prosperity in the region.
  36. The two Prime Ministers noted with appreciation the close cooperation between Thailand and India in various international fora and agreed to further enhance their cooperation in the United Nations and other international fora on matters of mutual interest.
  37. The two Prime Ministers welcomed the Doha Gateway outcome of the 18th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and emphasized the need to work closely for a balanced outcome under the Durban Platform in accordance with the principles of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Equity. They welcomed the outcome of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in June 2012 which reaffirmed the Rio Principles and made political commitment towards sustainable development and poverty eradication. The two leaders expressed their hope that the post-2015 Development Agenda would focus on development, economic growth and poverty eradication, preserve the national policy space and priorities of developing countries and provide the necessary means of implementation to developing countries.
  38. The two leaders reiterated their strong support for the ongoing reform of the United Nations and its principal organs with a view to making the United Nations more democratic, transparent and efficient so that it can deal more effectively with the myriad challenges of the contemporary world. They emphasized the importance of an early reform of the United Nations Security Council so that it reflects the contemporary realities and functions in a more accountable, representative and effective manner. The Thai side acknowledged India's credentials for permanent membership of the UN Security Council. The two leaders commended each other’s active role, continued constructive contributions and cooperation in the field of international peace and security.
  39. The following agreements were signed during the visit: -
    • Extradition Treaty.
    • MoU on the Establishment of the Thailand-India Exchange Programme.
    • MOU between Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency and Survey of India for cooperation in the field of Mapping and Geospatial Technology Applications.
    • MOU between Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency, Thailand and National Atlas and Thematic Mapping Organization, India for cooperation in the field of Mapping and Geospatial Technology Applications.
    • MOU between Financial Intelligence Unit, India and Anti Money Laundering Organization, Thailand on Cooperation in the exchange of Financial Intelligence related to Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing.
    • MOU on Establishment of Hindi Chair at Thammasat University.
    • Procès-verbal of Exchange of Instrument of Ratification of the Treaty on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons.
  40. Both sides agreed to hold the next meeting of the Joint Commission at the level of Foreign Minister later this year in Bangkok to review the sector-wise progress and to identify new areas of cooperation.
  41. The Prime Minister of India expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, the Royal Thai Government and the people of Thailand for the warm welcome and cordial hospitality extended to him and to the members of his delegation during his Official Visit.
Bangkok
30 May 2013




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