Srettha hails 'fruitful' talks in Italy
text size

Srettha hails 'fruitful' talks in Italy

Bilateral ties boosted across several sectors

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin arrives at Haneda airport, Japan, on Wednesday. (Photo: Government House)
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin arrives at Haneda airport, Japan, on Wednesday. (Photo: Government House)

Thailand and Italy have agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation in a wide range of areas, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said on Wednesday following his official visit to the European nation.

Speaking while in Japan, which he visited after Italy, Mr Srettha said his talks with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni were fruitful.

As an example, he said Thailand's chance to win approval for its request for a Schengen visa waiver for Thai ordinary passport holders has improved after Ms Meloni pledged to support such a proposal.

With support from Italy -- currently assuming the rotating presidency of the Group of Seven leading industrial nations (G7) -- Thailand's negotiations with other Schengen states will likely be successful, Mr Srettha said.

Ms Meloni also pledged support for Thailand's bid to seal a free trade agreement (FTA) with Italy, he said.

Both sides have also agreed to work together to expand cooperation in the fashion and design industries, he said.

As for clean energy development, Mr Srettha said Italy expressed particular interest in Thailand's plan to explore new natural gas sources in the Thai-Cambodian overlapping claims areas.

The Italian side made a proposal for the government to consider supplying Italy with more seasonal Thai workers to work in Italy's agricultural sector during the harvest season, said Mr Srettha.

The proposal is in line with the government's intention to send more Thai workers to a country offering them high-paying jobs, he said.

Other key topics discussed at the meeting included investment opportunities for Italian investors in Thailand's Land Bridge megaproject and planned expansions of Thailand airports, an area in which Italy has special expertise.

The Italian prime minister suggested both nations work together toward signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the expansion of their bilateral cooperation in the agreed areas, said Mr Srettha.

The Thai military attaché to Italy will pursue further discussions with the Italians on opportunities for Thailand and Italy to work more closely together on Thailand's plan to develop its defence industry, said Mr Srettha.

Mr Srettha also said direct flights between Bangkok and Milan would be inaugurated on July 1, while flights between Bangkok and Rome are expected to begin in the winter months.

The premier is on an official trip to France, Italy and Japan from May 15-24. He said his next travel plans in the third and fourth quarters of this year are India, Africa and Turkey.

Do you like the content of this article?