TRADE AND investment will be the focus of Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha’s visit to Bhutan tomorrow, along with discussions over public health, agriculture and the Sufficiency Economy philosophy.
According to a joint press statement draft from the Cabinet on Tuesday, Prayut is expected to extend Thailand’s support to establish an eye, ear, nose and throat medical centre in Bhutan by next year as well as discuss the local agricultural marketing scheme “One Gewog One Product”, which parallels Thailand’s iconic One Tambon One Product scheme.
Thailand is Bhutan’s second-top import supplier, accounting for US$24 million (Bt800 million) of Bhutan’s total imports worth $455 million.
During Prayut’s two-day visit he will pay courtesy calls to King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk and Queen Consort Jetsun Pema, have bilateral discussions with his Bhutanese counterpart Tshering Tobgay and open a new Thai honorary consulate-general in the capital of Thimphu.
Thailand, one of 52 countries enjoying diplomatic relations with Bhutan, initiated ties with the South Asian country in 1989.
Prayut also said on Tuesday that the visit should highlight Thailand’s strength in maintaining foreign cooperation.
Bhutan and Thailand share cordial relations. The two Kingdoms share deep respect for the institution of monarchy, shared spiritual heritage, proud legacy of sovereign independence and close people to people contact despite the asymmetry of geography, economy and population. Bhutan established formal diplomatic relations with Thailand in 1989.