Thailand, Vietnam to forge stronger trade, security ties

Thailand, Vietnam to forge stronger trade, security ties

Thailand and Vietnam have set a target to boost trade to US$20 billion (694 billion baht) by 2020 from its current value of $15 billion.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, left, and Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Tan Dung review the guards at Government House in Bangkok. Thiti Wannamontha

The target was announced jointly by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung at Government House yesterday as Mr Nguyen makes an official visit to Thailand.

"We will boost our trade from $15 billion to $20 billion by 2020 and this will be achievable in the time we expect," Mr Nguyen said.

Thailand is Vietnam's largest partner among Asean nations, he said.

At the meeting, the two nations sought closer ties to strengthen military and security cooperation to combat transnational crimes and illegal practices, narcotics, human trafficking and money laundering.

"Vietnam is the only country in Asean with which Thailand has developed a relationship in terms of a strategic partnership at all levels," Gen Prayut said.

"Thailand is also the only country that Vietnam held a joint cabinet meeting with."

Gen Prayut said the two countries have made a promise that they will not leave each other behind but will move forward together.

"Vietnam is not Thailand's competitor,"  he said.

"We have reaffirmed our mutual commitment not to allow any individual or organisation to use territory to conduct hostile activities.''

Gen Prayut and Mr Nguyen also witnessed the signing ceremony of their joint statement and four memoranda of understanding covering labour cooperation, employment of migrant workers, forging more comprehensive friendship ties between Ubon Ratchathani and Kon Tum and friendship ties between Trat and Long An.

On the aviation front, Transport Minister ACM Prajin Juntong said Vietnam asked Thailand to accelerate consideration of its request to increase VietJet Air flights to Thailand.

He said the countries also discussed the road transport linkage on Route No.12 from Mukdahan in Thailand through Laos to Vietnam and Route No.12 from Ubon Ratchathani via Lao to Vietnam.

The discussion also covered comprehensive regulation of bus transport on the transnational routes.

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