PM’s visit to Thailand to accelerate ties: Envoy
Bangkok: India`s accelerating ties with Thailand will get a further boost with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s brief but comprehensive visit here next week, but the long awaited FTA will not be initialed during the trip, Indian envoy to the country has said.
"Thailand is keenly looking forward to this visit," Indian Ambassador to Thailand Anil Wadhwa said, adding Singh`s visit here will be first time by an Indian premier after the 2004 visit by the then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.
"Geo-politics, the trilateral highway project involving India, Thailand and Myanmar, defence, science and technology, education and culture, are some of the issues which will be discussed by the premier and his Thai counterpart Yingluck Shinawatra," said the envoy.
Manmohan Singh will be here on May 30 on his way back from Japan and leave for New Delhi on May 31.
Yingluck has already visited India twice once as Chief guest at the Republic Day last year and later for the ASEAN India commemorative summit to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the India Asean dialogue in December, 2012.
Process to ease the consular access and visa procedure and tourism related to the Buddhist circuit are also expected to be covered in the bilateral talks. Thailand is a Buddhist majority country.
Wadhwa said a slew of MoUs covering space, extradition, IT, education, Financial Intelligence Units for money laundering were also scheduled to be inked during the visit.
The long awaited Free Trade Agreement between India and Thailand will not be initialed in May. While most issues have been agreed upon some still have to be mutually agreed upon.
"We are almost done for goods, service, investment. We have to now look into tech barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures which Indian wants and Thailand has agreed to look into," Wadhwa said.
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