Thailand and Brunei have agreed to expand bilateral cooperation to cover new areas of trade and investment while working closely together towards the Asean goal of achieving regional economic integration.
During his official visit to Brunei, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin yesterday was granted a royal audience with His Majesty the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam, the most senior leader in Asean.
Mr Srettha said the two sides talked about existing areas of bilateral cooperation and new ones to be included.
The two nations, he added, are looking forward to celebrating the 40th anniversary of their long-time diplomatic ties in the year to come.
"An important new area of cooperation between Thailand and Brunei is the promotion of food security between the two countries," said the prime minister, adding that Brunei currently imports rice and sugar mainly from Thailand.
Both sides have agreed to expand the Halal food market with each other, which will provide Thailand with additional opportunities to export Halal-certified chicken, said Mr Srettha.
The prime minister said he also encouraged more people from Brunei to come to Thailand for medical services, as the kingdom is already respected by Middle Eastern customers for its medical tourism.
In 2022, trade between Thailand and Brunei was valued at about 29 billion baht, or 29% growth in a year-on-year comparison, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Government spokesman Chai Wacharonke said that Mr Srettha invited the Brunei Investment Agency (BIA) to consider investing more in Thailand's high-capacity areas, including the service industry, tourism and infrastructure.
Mr Chai said that more bilateral cooperation in the field of energy was also discussed and agreed on during yesterday's meeting.
Mr Srettha said he appreciated that products imported from Thailand to Brunei have been rising in popularity, which has prompted the Thai embassy in Brunei to plan more trade shows of Thai products.
He also said that it was agreed that Thailand and Brunei need to continue working closely together to support Asean in achieving economic integration goals. Later in the evening, Mr Srettha attended a royal banquet hosted by the Sultan in honour of the Thai leader's visit.
Mr Srettha today arrives in Malaysia, where he will attend an official welcoming ceremony and meet with the nation's leader, Anwar Ibrahim.
He will travel to Singapore tomorrow, where he will meet with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and attend a joint press briefing after an official welcoming ceremony. He will also meet with top Singaporean companies before returning to Bangkok on the same day.