AUCKLAND : Thailand and New Zealand have signed two more agreements on education and science, and technology and innovation cooperation, paving the way for a deeper strategic partnership.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her New Zealand counterpart John Key met yesterday at Government House Pavilion in Auckland to discuss the two countries' relationship and a wide range of cooperation on political, security, economic education, science and technology and development issues.
After the talks, the two premiers signed two documents - the Joint Framework for Cooperation and Education Partnership, and the Science, Technology and Innovation Letter of Intent.
Both leaders agreed the Joint Framework for Cooperation and Education Partnership, signed yesterday, would help further strengthen this important relationship and identify new avenues for cooperation in the area of vocational training.
Prime Minister Yingluck said Thailand realised it had a shortage of skilled vocational workers and welcomed the opportunity to develop new training and education capabilities in cooperation with New Zealand.
In the area of education, Ms Yingluck said her government appreciated New Zealand's assistance with English-language capacity building in preparation for the launch of the Asean Economic Community in 2015, including the provision of Asean scholarships for Thai teachers of English, the Advanced Oral Communications Course, and New Zealand teacher volunteers.
The premier also said the signing of the Science, Technology and Innovation Letter of Intent would help the two countries improve exchanges in science education and cooperation.
Ms Yingluck said she recognised New Zealand's advancements in agricultural technology and food safety and expressed interest in having technical cooperation in these areas.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra receives a Hongi (Maori greeting) from New Zealand Government House’s Maori elder Lewis Moeau during a state welcome in Auckland yesterday. Ms Yingluck is on a three-day visit to New Zealand. AFP
This is Ms Yingluck's first official visit to New Zealand and marks 57 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Ms Yingluck will leave New Zealand tomorrow for Papua New Guinea.
She invited Mr Key to attend the 2nd Asia-Pacific Water Summit Leaders Forum in Chiang Mai on May 19 and 20.
She also encouraged New Zealand investors to explore business opportunities in Thailand.
Ms Yingluck assured Mr Key of Thailand's support for a New Zealand candidate to become the new secretary-general of the United Nations.
Ban Ki-moon, the current secretary-general of the UN, will end his second term at the end of 2016.