The Honourable Moana Carcasses Kalosil, Prime Minister of the Republic of Vanuatu, will pay an official visit to Thailand from 18 to 23 May 2013 as guest of the Thai government.
This visit will be the first official visit of a Prime Minister of Vanuatu to Thailand. It is also his first overseas trip since he assumed office on 23 March 2013. During the visit, he will also attend the 2nd Asia-Pacific Water Summit, hosted by Thailand in Chiang Mai province.
According to a report by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Prime Minister of Vanuatu will have a meeting with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to discuss and exchange views on ways to enhance bilateral relations, promote trade and investment, and strengthen development cooperation.
In this regard, both Prime Ministers will witness the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Technical Cooperation between the two countries. The scope of this MOU covers technical cooperation in such key areas as agriculture, education, health, sustainable development, and trade and Investment.
The Prime Minister of Vanuatu is also scheduled to pay a study visit to learn about agricultural technology, especially rice production, fruit processing, aquaculture, and the advancement of Thailand’s tourism industry.
This visit will mark a significant milestone in the Thai – Vanuatu diplomatic relations, providing a good opportunity for both countries to further strengthen ties of friendship and further enhance cooperation in various areas.
Thailand and Vanuatu established diplomatic relations on 21 September 1982. At present, there are 17 Thais living in Vanuatu; most of them work in Thai restaurants and Thai massage and spa businesses.
Vanuatu is a South Pacific country to which Thailand accords a high priority. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the enhancement of ties with Vanuatu, an important country in the South Pacific and member of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), is also part of Thailand’s policy to strengthen cooperation with this important region, with a view to addressing regional and global issues of common concern.
Thailand is Vanuatu's most important exporting partner. In 2012, trade between Thailand and Vanuatu was estimated around 176 million US dollars (about 5.28 billion baht). Major Thai exports to Vanuatu include automobiles, canned and processed food, clothes, and sugar. Thailand imports fresh seafood, chilled and frozen seafood, especially tuna from Vanuatu.