India-Thailand agree to explore cooperation in defence industries

Bangkok: Prime Minister Narendra Modi being received on his arrival in Bangkok, Thailand on Nov 2, 2019. (Photo: IANS/PIB)

Bangkok, Nov 3 (IANS) Welcoming a 20 per cent growth in bilateral trade in 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Thai counterpart Prayut Chan-o-Cha on Sunday decided to task their trade officials to discuss ways to enhance trade and investment, and agreed to explore opportunities for cooperation in defence industries sector.

The two leaders, who met on the sidelines of 35th ASEAN Summit here, reviewed the progress made in bilateral relationship and noted that frequent high level meetings and exchanges at all levels have created positive momentum in the relationship.

Noting the enhanced engagement in defence and security fields, both sides agreed to explore opportunities for cooperation in defence industries sector, a statement issued by the External Affairs Ministry said.

The Prime Ministers also discussed ways to enhance connectivity between the two countries.

Both leaders welcomed the growing air connectivity between the two countries and start of a direct flight between Bangkok and Guwahati and also finalisation of agreements for cooperation between Ranong Port, Thailand and Indian ports in Kolkata, Chennai and Vishakapatnam.

They also exchanged views on regional and multi-lateral issues of mutual interest, said the statement, adding that Modi thanked his Thai counterpart for the invitation extended to him to attend the ASEAN related meetings, and also congratulated him on his leadership as Chair of ASEAN.

Prime Minister Modi “positively” assessed the contribution of Thailand as the Country Coordinator for India-ASEAN Strategic Partnership for further strengthening this relationship.

“India and Thailand are close maritime neighbours having historical and cultural linkages. In the contemporary context, India’s ‘Act East’ policy is complimented by Thailand’s ‘Look West’ policy which has made the relationship deep, robust and multifaceted,” the statement added.

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