Prime Minister of the Republic of India Dr. Manmohan Singh will pay an official visit to Thailand on 30-31 May 2013, as guest of the Royal Thai Government.
This is the first official visit to Thailand of Prime Minister Singh, who visited Thailand twice before, to attend the 1st BIMSTEC Summit in 2004 and the 15th ASEAN Summit in 2011.
Upon his arrival, a welcoming ceremony will be held at Government House on 30 May, followed by a meeting between Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and the Indian Prime Minister. The meeting reflects the desire of the two countries to elevate bilateral relations to strategic partnerships, as announced in January 2012.
The two Prime Ministers will review the development of existing cooperation and explore new areas of cooperation where both countries have mutual interests. Prime Minister Yingluck will host a dinner in honor of Prime Minister Singh and his delegation on the same day. The Prime Minister of India and his delegation will depart Thailand in the morning of 31 May.
Prime Minister Yingluck paid an official visit to India and attended India’s Republic Day celebrations as Chief Guest in January 2012. She visited India again in December 2012 to attend the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit.
The exchange of high-level visits also reflects India’s “Look East” policy and ASEAN’s “Look West” policy. Over the past two decades, significant strides have been made in the ASEAN-India relationship. Geographical and cultural closeness makes ASEAN and India natural trading partners.
Team Thailand Mumbai in India, comprising the Consul-General of Thailand, the Executive Director of the Thai Trade Center, and the Director of the Thailand Board of Investment, took part in a seminar on the Thai economy, organized by the Federation of Indian Exporters Organizations in Mumbai on 14 May 2013. It gave an overview about Thai-Indian bilateral relations and investment opportunities in Thailand.
The Thai team emphasized that Thailand could be a hub for doing business with the whole ASEAN countries, which represent a combined population of about 600 million people. Connectivity by road, by air, and by sea from Thailand to other ASEAN countries, as well as the Thai-Indian and ASEAN-Indian Free Trade Agreements and the integration of ASEAN as a single community in 2015, will bring Thailand and India closer together.
In 2012, Thailand and India decided to work closely in building up their infrastructural linkages, especially the trilateral highway connecting India, Myanmar, and Thailand, scheduled for completion in 2016. Thailand and India are aiming for 14 billion US dollars in trade by 2014. Bilateral trade between the two countries expanded from 4.7 billion dollars in 2007 to 8.34 billion dollars in 2012.
The past few years have seen a rapid growth, with the value of exports from Thailand and imports from India almost doubling from 2007 to 2012.