India and Thailand today decided to ramp up cooperation in the fields of economy, counter terrorism, cyber security and human trafficking besides forging closer ties in defence and maritime security.
The announcement was made here after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held extensive talks with his visiting Thai counterpart General Prayut Chan-o-cha.
The leaders said early conclusion of a balanced Comprehensive Economic and Partnership Agreement is a shared priority.
Modi said both the countries have prioritised completion of India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral highway and early signing of the Motor Vehicles Agreement between India, Thailand and Myanmar.
Following the delegation-level talks, in which also Army Chief Dalbir Singh Suhag was also present, two agreements – Executive Programme of Cultural Exchange (Extension of CEP) for 2016-2019 and an MoU between Nagaland University and Chiang Mai University, Thailand – were signed.
In a bid to attract tourists from Thailand, especially to the Buddhist sites in the country, Modi announced that India will soon facilitate double entry e-tourist visas for Thai citizens.
Talking about the issue of terror, the Prime Minister said both countries were aware that rapid spread of terrorism and radical ideology pose a common challenge.
In our shared objective to combat these challenges, India is particularly grateful to Thailand for its assistance and cooperation, he said.
“Beyond terrorism, we have agreed to further deepen our security engagement in the fields of cyber security, narcotics, transnational economic offenses and human trafficking,” Modi said while addressing the media.
Noting that India and Thailand were also maritime neighbours, he said both the countries have agreed to forge a closer partnership in the fields of defence and maritime cooperation.
“A partnership to meet our bilateral interests and to respond to our shared regional goals,” he said.
On trade and commerce, Modi said a more “diversified commercial engagement” between both countries would not only benefit the respective economies but also enable greater regional economic prosperity.
He welcomed the first meeting of the India-Thailand Joint Business Forum to be held later today.
He said that besides trade, there are also ample avenues for greater manufacturing and investment linkages.
“We see a particular synergy between Thai strengths in infrastructure, particularly tourism infrastructure, and India’s priorities in this field.
“Information Technology, pharmaceuticals, auto components and machinery are some other areas of promising collaboration. We also see early conclusion of a balanced Comprehensive Economic and Partnership Agreement as our shared priority,” he said.
The Thai Prime Minister said when it comes to comprehensive economic and partnership agreement, both countries should focus on what can be done first.