Thailand – India take the ties to higher plane at the 7th Thailand-India JC

Mrs. Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs of India, paid an official visit to Thailand at the invitation of General Tanasak Patimapragorn, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, during 27-29 June 2015.

During the visit, the Minister of External Affairs of India attended the World Sanskrit Conference on 28 June 2015, which was presided over by HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. On this occasion, Mrs. Swaraj was granted an audience with HRH the Princess.

On 29 June 2015, the Minister of External Affairs of India paid a courtesy call on General Prem Tinsulanonda, President of the Privy Council and Statesman.

On the same day, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand and the Minister of External Affairs of India co-chaired the Seventh Meeting of the Thailand-India Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation (JC Meeting) at Vithes Samosorn, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand.

The meeting proceeded well and provided opportunity for both sides to discuss on several bilateral, regional and multilateral issues of mutual benefits.  The meeting also reflected the strength of existing Thailand-India partnership that has continued to robust. Some significant results are as follows:

Economic Cooperation: Both sides underscored to expedite the conclusion of bilateral FTA, and agreed to promote trade and investment facilitation for private sectors, reduce the trade barriers. Both sides agreed that the 1st meeting of Thailand-India Business Forum be convened prior to the visit to India of the Thai Prime Minister.

Connectivity Cooperation: Both sides agreed to explore the possibilities of linking Thailand’s East-West Economic Corridor with the East Coast of India. The Meeting also emphasized on the importance of India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Transport Linkage and the support on the development of the Comprehensive Development in the Dawei Special Economic Zone.

Defence and Security Cooperation: Both countries were satisfied with the dynamic of defence and security cooperation.  In addition, both sides concurred to enhance the level of cooperation to cope with new non-traditional security threats.

Cultural Cooperation: Both sides were satisfied with the positive outcome of the bilateral Cultural Exchange Program 2012-2014 and will continue to work closely together on this field.

Tourism and Civil Aviation Cooperation: Both sides were satisfied with the current number of tourists visiting both countries and showed readiness to further promote two-way tourism by exploring the possibility of establishing the two-year Plan of Action.  Moreover, the Meeting agreed that the Air Services Consultation be held at the earliest opportunity to conclude the revised Air Services Agreement. The Indian side also officially  informed that India’s new e-tourist visa scheme has been granted to Thai nationals since November 2014.

Legal and Consular Cooperation: Both sides were satisfied with the development in mutual cooperation in consular issues, resulted from the Thailand-India ad hoc Joint Working Group on Visa and Consular Matters, and agreed that the 5th meeting of the Joint Working Group be convened at the earliest to discussed issues of mutual interests, including visa facilitaion.

Regional and Multilateral Issues: The two sides expressed their readiness to work closely and support each other beyond bilateral front, both regionally and internationally. In addition, both countries shared common interest and attached great importance to human rights and would further work together in the Human Rights Council (HRC). In regards to working within UN platform, Thailand and India play an active role in UNSC reform and continued constructive contributions and cooperation in the field of international peace and security.

Upon the closure of the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, and Minister of External Affairs of India signed a number of agreements, including the JC Meeting’s Agreed Minutes, Memorandum of Understanding on the Establishment of Nalanda University, Convention on the Avoidance of Double Taxation, Exchanged of an Instrument of Ratification of the Extradition Treaty between Thailand and India.  In addition, both ministers also witnessed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Establishment of the “Academic Chair” between Rangsit University and Ministry of AYUSH of India.

Both sides agreed that the Eighth Meeting of the Thailand-India Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation will be held in India on mutually convenient dates.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Thailand

Royal Thai Embassy, New Delhi
2 July 2015