PM in New Zealand to widen economic cooperation
Thailand and New Zealand yesterday agreed to further strengthen their trade ties, with the goal of boosting bilateral trade to US$2.5 billion (Bt75 billion) within the next five years.The two countries have agreed to further expand collaboration in many areas, including the trade and economic fields, according to PM's Secretary-General Suranan Vejjajiva. Both countries are confident of boosting trade between them to US$2.5 billion in five years and will explore more areas for economic cooperation, he said.
Yingluck and her team arrived in New Zealand yesterday as part of an official five-day trip to New Zealand and Papua New Guinea to boost trade with the countries. Accompanying her are Cabinet ministers and representatives from government agencies and private companies.
The PM is in New Zealand until tomorrow.
On Monday, she will witness the signing of a memorandum of understanding by the Thai Chamber of Commerce and its Papua New Guinea counterpart.
Yingluck said Thailand and New Zealand have had close ties for more than 50 years. Both can further boost trade and collaboration in many areas, from agriculture to tourism.
Yesterday, she also held talks with New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key. She confirmed that Thailand was politically and economically stable and revealed the plan to spend massively on infrastructure upgrade to enhance the country's competitiveness. All these will also benefit trade and investment from New Zealand.
Both leaders also witnessed the signing of two drafts of partnership announcements - the Thailand-New Zealand education partnership statement to promote exchange of related officials and students and collaboration between educational institutes; and a letter of intent on science and technology and innovation collaboration between the two countries.
Thai imports of New Zealand seafood increased 56 per cent in the year to December 2012, totalling more than Bt675 million, according to the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise economic development and trade promotion agency. Thailand was New Zealand's 16th-largest bilateral export market and 9th-largest bilateral import market for the period January to December 2012.
Key New Zealand export products are dairy (primarily whole milk and skimmed milk powder, buttermilk and associated products which are used as ingredients by Thai manufacturers in ready-to-eat dairy products supplied to the local and export markets).
Energy Minister Pongsak Ruktapongpisal said Thailand is also keen to purchase natural gas from Papua New Guinea as part of the country's strategy of ensuring energy security. The PM's visit to Papua New Guinea will pave the way for possible gas purchase in the future.