Pakistan, Thailand vow to double trade partnership
21 August, 2013
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Thailand on Tuesday expressed their resolve to build a strong economic partnership, double their trade figure to $2 billion in the next five years and eventually enter into a Free Trade Agreement.
Addressing a press conference, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Thai counterpart Yingluck Shinawatra also expressed their commitment to collaborate in the fields of trade, culture, infrastructure development, science and technology, defence, education and tourism.
Nawaz said the two sides held a "comprehensive discussion" on wide range of issues and noted the convergence of views on important bilateral and international issues.
The two sides also discussed regional and international issues of mutual interest.
Prime Minister Shinawatra extended her country's support to Pakistan in becoming a Full Dialogue Partner with the ASEAN, as Nawaz appreciated Thailand's "consistent support" for Pakistan's enhanced partnership with the regional forum. Nawaz also expressed satisfaction with the progress made in recent years in the political, economic and defence spheres.
"We agreed to further consolidate and expand this partnership for the mutual benefit of our people," he added.
The Thai PM also noted cooperation in security and defence particularly in the areas of training and joint exercises.
Nawaz said that building robust economic and trade relations with Thailand was priority of his government.
"Both sides have agreed to work towards a Free Trade Agreement to form the centrepiece of our economic partnership," he said and mentioned that both the countries have agreed to establish a Joint Trade Committee and a Joint Business Council at the private level to promote business-to-business contacts on the two sides. "We are happy to note that private business sectors on both sides have also met today," the prime minister said and also mentioned that the inaugural session of the Joint Trade Committee is going to be held to identify areas of future collaboration.
He expressed the hope that these desired steps would expand bilateral trade and investments and facilitate business partnerships.