New pacts cement India-Thai relations
Thailand's Foreign Affairs Ministry and India's Ministry of External Affairs co-hosted a signing ceremony on Wednesday for two memoranda of understanding (MoUs) to improve bilateral ties.
Indian Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar was in Thailand to attend the 9th India-Thailand Joint Commission Meeting as the two countries celebrated the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations. He also had a meeting with his Thai counterpart Don Pramudwinai. Later he paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha at Government House.
The two contracts were signed after the meeting. One was an MoU on Health and Medical Research cooperation between the Department of Medical Services, which falls under Thailand's Ministry of Public Health, and the Indian Council of Medical Research of Department of Health Research, under India's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
The other MoU covers Cooperation and Collaboration on Broadcasting between Prasar Bharati, India, and the Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS).
"We were talking during the joint commission on how we can strengthen our ties further and identify new areas of cooperation in the post-pandemic era," Mr Jaishankar said.
He said they would promote bilateral exchanges in trading, tourism, joint exercises and training. Cyber security and ICT were also discussed, along with an agreement to re-energise economic institutional mechanisms such as setting up a joint trade committee and business forums.
Both sides also plan to promote seamless connectivity including a 1,400-kilometre trilateral highway linking India, Myanmar and Thailand, he added.
Mr Don hailed the first Thailand-India ministerial meeting since the pandemic.
"Thailand and India have been longstanding friends and we just celebrated the 75th anniversary of our diplomatic relations on Aug 1. During the latest meeting, we exchanged our views in a clearcut manner," he said.