History in the making: 10 ASEAN leaders who will attend India’s Republic Day celebrations this year

These leaders will also take part in the two-day ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in the national capital beginning Thursday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with other world leaders in a group photograph, at the 15th ASEAN-India Summit, in Manila, Philippines on November 14, 2017. (File)

In a first, leaders of 10 countries from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member-states will be present as chief guests during the Republic Day celebrations this year. The leaders participating in the Republic Day parade are President Joko Widodo of Indonesia, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc of Vietnam, Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia, General Prayuth Chan-o-cha of Thailand, Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar, Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte, the Sultan of Brunei Haji Hassanal Bolkiah,  Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith of Laos and Hun Sen, the Prime Minister of Cambodia.

These leaders will also take part in the two-day ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in the national capital beginning Thursday. The event will mark 25 years of India’s ties with the southeast Asian bloc.

Here’s a look at all the 10 heads of the state

General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister, Thailand

History in making: 10 leaders who will be there at India's Republic Day celebrations

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha participates(file photo)

Prayut Chan-o-cha is a retired Royal Thai Army officer who is the head of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), a military junta, and concurrently serves as the Prime Minister of Thailand. The council, which he appointed himself along with other junta members, has the power to name the prime minister and control prime ministerial position.

Prayut is a former Commander in Chief of the Royal Thai Army, the post he held from October 2010 to October 2014. After his appointment as army chief, Prayut was characterised as a strong royalist and an opponent of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

He last visited India in June 2016. PM Modi travelled to Thailand in November 2016.

Both countries had a trade relation worth $ 7.72 billion in 2016.

Hun Sen, Prime Minister, Cambodia

History in making: 10 leaders who will be there at India's Republic Day celebrations

Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen (Reuters photo)

Hun Sen has been the prime minister of Cambodia since 1985, making him the world’s longest-serving prime minister, the longest serving head of government of Cambodia, and one of the longest serving leaders in the world. He is known for Cambodia’s post Khmer Rouge economic turnaround, but criticised for human rights record.

Hun Sen will lead a delegation that will meet key Indian leaders to discuss bilateral ties and strengthen the relationship between the two countries during his bilateral state visit on January 27. His last visit to India came in 2012.

India share strong cultural ties with Combodia. In 2016, both the countries had a trade relation worth $ 153.13 million. India is helping in the renovation of the Angkor Wat temple.

Thongloun Sisoulith, Prime Minister, Lao PDR

History in making: 10 leaders who will be there at India's Republic Day celebrations

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, left, with Laos’ Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith (AP Photo)

Thongloun Sisoulith has been the prime minister of Lao PDR since 2016. Previously, Sisoulith was Deputy Prime Minister from 2001 to 2016, as well as minister of foreign affairs from 2006 to 2016. He is a politburo member of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party.

Sisoulith met PM Modi in 2016 when Lao PDR hosted the ASEAN and East Asia Summits.

India had a trade relation worth $ 233.10 million in 2016-17. India holds regular defence training programmes; has extended line of credit for power projects.

Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor, Myanmar

History in making: 10 leaders who will be there at India's Republic Day celebrations

Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi (Reuters photo)

Aung San Suu Kyi is the leader of the National League for Democracy and the first and incumbent State Counsellor, a position akin to a Prime Minister in Myanmar. She is also the first woman to serve as Minister for foreign affairs,  for the President’s Office, for Electric Power and Energy, and for Education in the country. From 2012 to 2016, she was an MP for Kawhmu Township to the House of Representatives.

Suu Kyi holds a special relationship with India. She last visited India in October 2016 before PM Modi’s visit to Myanmar in September 2017. India has been treading cautiously on global criticism for her silence on Rohingya crisis.

India’s trade relation with Myanmar in 2016-17 was worth $ 2.17 billion.

Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister, Singapore

History in making: 10 leaders who will be there at India's Republic Day celebrations

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (AP Photo)

Lee Hsien Loong is serving as the prime minister of Singapore since 2004. He took over the leadership of the People’s Action Party (PAP) when former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong stepped down from the position to become the new senior minister. Lee then led his party to victory in the 2006, 2011 and 2015 general elections. He began his current term on 15 January 2016 following the opening of Singapore’s 13th Parliament. Lee is the eldest son of Singapore’s first Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew.

He is the current chair of ASEAN. He last visited India in 2017. It is very likely that PM Modi will travel twice to Singapore in 2018.

India share a strong relationship with Singapore as it is the second largest trading partner in ASEAN. The trade relation between the two countries was worth $ 16.7 billion in 2016-17.

 

Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister, Vietnam

History in making: 10 leaders who will be there at India's Republic Day celebrations

Nguyen Xuan Phuc (AP photo)

Nguyen Xuan Phuc is the seventh prime minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. He is the sixth ranked member of the 12th Politburo. As a tradition in Vietnamese politics, Phúc is also a full member of the National Assembly, serving at its 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th terms. He was elected to the post of the National Assembly, nominated on April 8, 2016 by his predecessor, Nguyen Tan Dung, retired from his office. Phuc became a member of the Communist Party in Vietnam on November 12, 1983.

This is Phuc’s first visit to India as prime minister. PM Modi last went to Vietnam in 2016.

Vietnam has stood up to Chinese assertion in the region and is a key ally of India. The trade relations between the two countries during April-November of fiscal year 2016-17 was $ 6.24 billion. India is one of Vietnam’s top 10 trading partners.

 

 

Haji Hassanal, Sultan of Brunei

History in making: 10 leaders who will be there at India's Republic Day celebrations

Hassanal Bolkiah with former Vice President Hamid Ansair (file photo)

Hassanal Bolkiah, GCB GCMG (full name: Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam) is the 29th and current Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei. The eldest son of Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien III and Raja Isteri (Queen) Pengiran Anak Damit, he succeeded to the throne as the Sultan of Brunei, following the abdication of his father on October 5, 1967.

He is among the richest persons in the world and has been the King since 1967. He last visited India in May 2008.

India shared a bilateral trade worth $ 495.54 million in 2016.

Joko Widodo, President, Indonesia

History in making: 10 leaders who will be there at India's Republic Day celebrations

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Indonesian President Joko Widodo (File Photo)

Joko Widodo, also known as Jokowi, is the seventh President of Indonesia and has been in office since 2014. Previously, he served as the Mayor of Surakarta from 2005 to 2012 and Governor of Jakarta from 2012 to 2014. He is the first Indonesian president without a high-ranking political or military background.

He last visited India in December 2016. It is likely that PM Modi will travel to Indonesia this year.

Indonesia is the largest trading partner of India in ASEAN. Both countries had a trade of worth $ 17 billion in 2016-17. India is the second largest buyer of coal and crude palm oil from Indonesia.

Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak, Prime Minister, Malaysia

History in making: 10 leaders who will be there at India's Republic Day celebrations

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia December 7, 2017. (REUTERS/Lai Seng Sin

Dato’ Sri Haji Mohammad Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak is the sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia. He succeeded Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who did not seek re-election as Umno President. He is the President of the United Malays National Organisation, the leading party in Malaysia’s ruling Barisan Nasional coalition.Najib is the eldest son of Abdul Razak Hussein, Malaysia’s second Prime Minister, and the nephew of Hussein Onn, Malaysia’s third Prime Minister.

He last visited India in March-April 2017. PM Modi last paid a visit to Malaysia in November 2015 for bilateral, ASEAN and East Asia Summits.

Both countries had a bilateral trade worth $ 11.72 billion in 2016.

Rodrigo Roa Duterte, President, Philippines

History in making: 10 leaders who will be there at India's Republic Day celebrations

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (File)

Rodrigo “Rody” Roa Duterte, also known as Digong, is a Filipino lawyer and politician who is the 16th President of the Philippines. He is the first Mindanaoan to hold the office. At 71 years, Duterte is the oldest person to assume the Philippine presidency; the record was previously held by Sergio Osmena at the age of 65.

Duterte became Davao City mayor in 1988 and was re-elected six times after forging a reputation for being tough on crime. He earned a decisive victory in his country’s 2016 presidential election, but soon drew criticism for his support of extrajudicial killings and threats to cut diplomatic ties with the US.

He is known for his controversial remarks and style. PM Modi met him in Manila in November 2017 at ASEAN and East Asia Summits. He is visiting India for first time.

Both the countries had a bilateral trade worth $ 1.98 billion in 2016-17.

 

 

Source: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/history-in-making-10-leaders-who-will-be-there-at-indias-republic-day-celebrations-5038387/

 

 

 

PM Narendra Modi holds talks with Thai counterpart Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha

New Delhi: Ahead of the India-ASEAN summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today held bilateral talks with his counterpart from Thailand Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha on strengthening cooperation in strategic areas of trade, defence and security.

Modi also held a meeting with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, the current chair of the ASEAN grouping.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted, “Our ‘Act East’ complementing Thailand’s Act West policy! Prime Minister Modi met with PM of Thailand… Constructive dialogue on economic and commercial exchange, connectivity, defence & security, cultural cooperation and people-to-people exchanges.”

On the eve of the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit to celebrate 25 years of India-ASEAN partnership, Modi had held separate bilateral meetings with Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Rodrigo Duterte, president of the Philippines yesterday.

 

PM to hold talks with Indian counterpart while at ASEAN-India Summit

Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-ocha is today meeting with his Indian counterpart during his attendance at the ASEAN-India Summit.

The Prime Minister and his wife arrived at Palam Air Force Station in New Delhi last night and were welcomed by the country’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Gen. Vijay Kumar Singh in an official ceremony.

The PM is scheduled today to engage in multilateral talks with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi before attending a lunch at Rashtrapati Bhavan, the nation’s presidential palace.

Other highlights of his itinerary include participation in a retreat of ASEAN leaders to discuss the topic “maritime security cooperation” and a celebration of the release of commemorative stamps marking 25 years of ASEAN-India relations.

The summit’s plenary session is taking place this evening on the topic “shared values and goals of India and ASEAN”. That will be followed by a gala dinner hosted by the leader of the Indian nation.

Information and Source

Reporter : Itiporn  Lakarnchua Rewriter : Itiporn  Lakarnchua National News Bureau & Public Relations : http://thainews.prd.go.th

India-Asean ties: An incremental relationship that’s set to move ahead

As seen in history, India-Asean ties will be influenced by the wider world, and it will be test the strength of this relationship. The China factor must be seen in this context

Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha, Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister Narendra Modi , Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong pose for a photo during the 15th Asean-India Summit, on the sideline of the 31st Asean Summit, Manila, November 14, 2017(AFP)

The India-Asean summit centres on the presence of 10 heads of state and government at the Republic Day Parade. This is an optically powerful statement of how much India’s relations with South East Asia have progressed since a Look East Policy was first articulated by Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao in 1992 in Singapore.

Five years ago, in December 2012, all the Asean heads were also in Delhi to observe the 20th anniversary of the partnership. Then, too, as now, debate and discussion on the half empty or the half full part of the India-Asean glass took place. Nevertheless, the larger point is certainly that this has been from the very beginning an incremental relationship and possibly will continue to be so.

Within the Asean framework, incremental growth is also seen as a virtue in itself: India became a sectoral partner of the Asean in 1992, a dialogue partner in 1996 and a summit level partner in 2002. In 2012, the New Delhi summit declared the relationship elevated to a ‘strategic partnership’. The vision statement that had emerged then had outlined its different dimensions: political and security related; economic and trade related; and, finally, those relating to connectivity and cultural lineages. In November 2014, in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi formally enunciated the Act East Policy.

As one contemplates a quarter century of intense interaction, it is also useful to look further back on how the journey started.

It is well known that the end of the Cold War, the break-up of the Soviet Union and the opening up of the Indian economy were among the cluster of changes in which Look East was then embedded. Asean itself was also affected by the wider changes taking place at the time. The final settlement of the Kampuchea or Cambodian issue paved the way for Vietnam’s subsequent entry into Asean. It is useful to recall how divisive these issues were through the 1980s and how much this had influenced India’s relations at the time with the then constituent members of Asean. Much as the Cold War kept South East Asia divided and stopped Asean from moving ahead on key areas of cooperation. It similarly was a barrier in a smooth interface developing with India.

The central takeaway from reading that history is that the wider world will inevitably intrude on India-Asean ties in the future also and the key would be to make the relationship meaty and meaningful enough to withstand these vicissitudes. The China factor on which reams are written has to be seen in this context as the quality of the relationship China has with each Asean nation varies almost as much as does India’s.

Outside of the political and economic, there is a whole world of shared heritage and culture. The commemorative events for the summit include a good representation of this universe — dance, music, the heritage of the Ramayana, archaeology, among others. It is useful to acknowledge also how much scholarship in India and elsewhere has contributed to keeping alive these memories.

The study of the India-South East Asian interface from the early 20th century was very much of a transnational exercise and numerous scholars and institutions in India and elsewhere made it as such. French scholar Sylvain Levi contributed greatly to inspiring the study of ancient India and its links with South East Asia.

Kalidas Nag, Baij Nath Puri, Devaprasad Ghosh, Suniti Kumar Chatterji, RC Majumdar, KA Nilakanta Sastri are among many others who did so much to gather and further knowledge of how Indians and the people of South East Asia interacted across the millennia. These scholars and intellectuals gave to scholarship in India about South East Asia both an international profile and reputation as also a universalistic impulse. This led, for instance, to the publication of the classic study Sanskrit in Indonesia by Dutch scholar J Gonda in Nagpur in 1952.

It is useful to recall this intellectual heritage also because much of this scholarship was carried out when India was as still a colony and it required an intellectual leap of faith to establish an older relationship of art, culture and literature with South East Asia.

The renewed focus on India and Asean will hopefully also help to strengthen and consolidate this rich tradition of scholarship in India and elsewhere as the relationship progresses and matures in other fields.

TCA Raghavan is former Indian high commissioner to Singapore and Pakistan

The views expressed are personal

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/opinion/india-asean-ties-an-incremental-relationship-that-s-set-to-move-ahead/story-cDDFznqnIHaPDYjYd0vCsO.html

India-Thailand : Gamut of Cooperation

India and Thailand, located in each other’s extended neighborhood, share a maritime boundary in the Andaman Sea. India’s bilateral relations with Thailand are rooted in history, age-old social and cultural interactions and extensive people to people contacts. The shared link of Buddhism is reflected in regular pilgrimages to places of Buddhist interest in India by a large number of Thai people. Hindu elements can be found among those reflected in Thai architecture, arts, sculpture, dance, drama and literature. The Thai language incorporates Pali and Sanskrit influences. A large Indian Diaspora living and working in Thailand is another important bond.

In the past two decades, with regular political exchanges, growing trade and investment, India’s ties with Thailand have now evolved into a comprehensive partnership. India’s ‘Act East’ policy has been complemented by Thailand’s ‘Act West’ policy in bringing the two countries closer. Both countries are important regional partners linking South and Southeast Asia. They cooperate closely in the ASEAN, East Asia Summit (EAS) and BIMSTEC groupings as also Mekong Ganga Cooperation (MGC), Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) and Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA). The India-ASEAN Agreement on Trade in Goods was implemented in January 2010 and the India-ASEAN FTA in Services and Investments was signed in September 2014 and came into force in July 2015

 

High level visits and meetings have taken place on a regular basis from both sides. On November 10, 2016, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi visited Bangkok to pay his tributes to the departed King of Thailand, HRH BhumibolAdulyadej. In 2016, Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, Industry Minister and Culture Minister paid a state visit to India from 16-18 June, 2016. He called on Vice president and had a restricted meeting and delegation level talks with PM on 17 June in New Delhi. EAM called on General Prayut. Thai PM met Indian businessmen from the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Confederation of Indian Industry, and Associated Chambers of Commerce of India and gave a keynote address on 17 June at a joint business event. He also offered prayers at the Mahabodhi Temple and the Thai Buddhist Temple in Bodhgaya, on 18 June.

Vice President, Shri M. Hamid Ansari, accompanied by a high level delegation, paid an official visit to Thailand from 3-5 February 2016. The Vice President had an audience with Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and held extensive bilateral discussions with PM General Prayut Chan-o-cha. The Vice President delivered an address at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, interacted with academicians/ Indologists and addressed the Indian community in Thailand.

Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn has visited India about 17 times. She was awarded the first World Sanskrit Award by the Vice President of India on 21 November, 2016. She also called on President of India. She visited India again on March 30, 2017 to receive Padma Bhushan from the President of India.

CIM Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman visited Bangkok from 3-5 August to participate in IndiaASEAN Expo & Forum.

A delegation led by Gen. TanasakPratimapragorn, Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand in charge of culture and tourism visited Mumbai from 6-8 March 2016. DPM Thanasak and the delegation met with Chief Minister of Maharashtra on 8 March. The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense of Thailand Gen. PrawitWongsuwan visited India from 1618 March 2016. Gen. Prawit met the Vice President, Defence Minister and the National Security Advisor.

During 2015, Smt. Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs (EAM) visited Thailand to co-chair the 7th Meeting of India-Thailand Joint Commission and to attend the 16th World Sanskrit Conference in Bangkok from 27-29 June 2015. EAM called on HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and Gen PremTinsulanonda, President of the Privy Council of Thailand. EAM and the then DPM & Minister of Foreign Affairs Gen TanasakPatimapragorn held delegation level talks. Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State (I/C) for Commerce and Industry visited Thailand to attend the 71st Commission
Session of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) on 28-29 May 2015. The Minister called on M. R. PridiyathornDevakula, former Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand and General ChatchaiSarikulya, former Minister of Commerce of Thailand and addressed the business event organized by the Embassy. Shri AjitDoval, National Security Advisor visited Thailand on 1-2 April 2015. He called on PM Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, DPM & Defence Minister PrawitWongsuwan, DPM& FM Gen TanasakPatimapragorn and met Mr. AnusitKunakorn, Secretary General of the National Security Council of Thailand.

Former DPM and Minister of Foreign Affairs General TanasakPatimapragorn visited India on 10-11 March 2015. He attended Delhi Dialogue VII, called on Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar and held delegation level talks with EAM Smt. Sushma Swaraj. Commerce Minister ChatchaiSarikalya visited India from 24-26 Feb 2015.

During 2014, PM Narendra Modi discussed bilateral issues of mutual interest with PM General Prayut Chan-o-cha on the sidelines of ASEAN Summit in Nay Pyi Taw on 12 November 2014. Shri KirenRijiju, MoS for Home Affairs participated in the first Ministerial Conference on Civil Registration and Vital Statistics in Asia and the Pacific on 27 & 28 November 2014 in Bangkok. Mrs. Maneka Gandhi, Minister of Women and Child Development visited Bangkok to attend Asian and Pacific Conference on “Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Beijing + 20 Review” on 19-20 November 2014. Earlier, KirenRijiju, Minister of State for Home Affairs participated in the 6th Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Bangkok from 23- 26 June 2014. General TanasakPatimaprakorn, Chief of Defence Forces, Royal Thai Armed Forces led a Thai delegation on an official visit to India from 28-30 June 2014. General Tanasak called on Arun Jaitley, Defence and FM and met General Bikram Singh, Chief of Army Staff in New Delhi.

PM Dr. Manmohan Singh accompanied by EAM Salman Khurshid and senior officials paid an official visit to Thailand at the invitation of PM Yingluck Shinawatra on 30-31 May 2013.He presented a sapling of Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya as a special gift to His Majesty King BhumibolAdulyadej as a symbol of the shared cultural heritage. PM held wide-ranging talks with PM Yingluck Shinawatra on bilateral, regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest. During the visit, six agreements/MoUs were signed and a joint statement was released. PM Yingluck Shinawatrapaid a State visit to India from 24-26 January 2012 as the Chief Guest for India’s Republic Day celebrations. Six agreements/ MoUs were signed during the visit – the 2nd Protocol to amend bilateral Framework Agreement for FTA, MoU on Defence, Programme of Cooperation in Science & Technology, Agreement on Transfer of Sentenced Persons, Cultural Exchange.

Programme 2012-14 and an MoU for ICCR to establish a Chair at India Studies Centre in Chulalongkorn University. Thai PM met PM on sidelines of the 10th India-ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh in November 2012. PM Yingluck Shinawatra visited India again to
participate in the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in New Delhi in December 2012. She visited Mahabodhi temple in Bodhgaya en route to New Delhi.

Bilateral Institutional Mechanisms :Joint Commission Meeting (JCM): IndiaThailand JCM is at Foreign Ministers level. EAM and DPM & FM Gen Tanasak co-chaired the 7th session of India-Thailand JCM on 29 June 2015. Wide-ranging discussions were held in the areas of economic and commercial cooperation, culture, S & T,ICT, education, agriculture ,legal and consular matters. The 6thJCM was held in New Delhi in December 2011.

Foreign office Consultations (FOC): The 4th India-Thailand Foreign Office Consultations were held in New Delhi, on 4 August 2016, co-chaired by Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand.. Earlier FOC were held in New Delhi on 8 September, 2014 and in Bangkok on 10 August, 2012.

Defence Exchanges:: The MoU on Defence Cooperation between India and Thailand was signed on 25 Jan 2012. The 5th Defence Dialogue was held at New Delhi from 15-16 Dec 16. Gen ChatudomTitthasiri, Deputy Permanent Secretary for Defence was the Co-chair from the Thai side along with Mr. Ravikant, Additional Secretary, IndianMoD. India participated in Ex-Cobra Gold in ‘Observer Plus’ category for the first time ever in 2015. Since then, India fields its Engineer, Observer and Medical Delegations in Ex Cobra Gold exercises in Thailand. Bilateral exercises are held annually between the armies and air forces of both countries. The other ongoing defence cooperation initiatives comprises of biannual joint maritime patrolling by the navies and training of officers at each other’s institutions. Thailand participated in International Fleet Review – 2016 by sending its Frigate, HTMS Saiburi to Vishakhapatnam from 04-09 Feb 16. The ASEAN IFR was held from 17-21 Nov 17. The Indian Navy send one Kamrota class ASW Corvette, INS Kadmatt and one Shivalik class frigate, INS Satpura to the event. The Chief of Naval Staff, Indian Navy was represented by Vice Admiral Karambir Singh AVSM, FOC-in-C, Eastern Naval Command.

Economic & Commercial Partnership Bilateral Trade: Bilateral Trade has multiplied eight times since 2000 to reach US$ 7.72 billion in 2016. Trade figures between the two countries are as under:

Major Indian companies in Thailand include Tata group – Tata Motors (Thailand), Tata Steel Thailand and Tata Consultancy Services, The Aditya Birla Group, Mahindra Satyam, Ranbaxy, Dabur, Lupin, NIIT, KirloskarBorthers Ltd, Punj Lloyd Group, Polyplex (Thailand) Public Co. Ltd, Precious Shipping PCL and Usha Siam Steel Industries PCL.

Major Thai companies active in India are – Charoen Pokphand (India) Private Limited, C P Aquaculture (India) Ltd., Ital Thai Development Pcl., The Thai Union Frozen Products PCL , Stanley Electric Engineering India Pvt. Ltd., Thai Summit Neel Auto Pvt. Ltd., Thai Airways International Pcl., Krung Thai Bank Pcl., Rockworth Public Company Limited and Precious Shipping (PSL) of Thailand, Dusit Group (Hotel & Hospitality Industry), Delta Electronics (Thailand) PCL, Pruksa Real Estate PCL (Real Estate business), SirithaiSuperware PCL (Melamine tableware manufacturing), ONYX Hospitality Group, Thai Airways ,Siam Cement Group (SCG) etc.

Connectivity: Air connectivity between India and Thailand is growing with around 270 flights per week reflecting a rapidly growing traffic of tourist and businesspersons between the two countries. About one million Indian tourists visited Thailand in 2016. The number of Thai tourists to India was close to 120,000 (mainly to Buddhist pilgrimage sites).. All major airlines of India operate between the two countries : Air India, Jet Airways, Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways, Air Asia, IndiGo and Spicejet. India and Thailand are cooperating closely on improving regional connectivity through initiatives such as IndiaMyanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway, Asian Highway Network (under UNESCAP), BTILS under BIMSTEC framework. The 2nd bilateral JWG on Infrastructure and Connectivity and 7th Task Force Meeting on the Trilateral Transport Linkage Project were held in Bangkok on 29 & 30 September 2014. Secretaries of Transport of India, Myanmar and Thailand met in Chennai (April 2015); Bengaluru (June 2015) and Bangkok (July 2015) to finalize the Trilateral Motor Vehicles Agreement

Culture:

Cultural exchanges take place under the framework of a Cultural Exchange Programme (CEP) between the two governments. An Indian Cultural Centre was opened in Bangkok in September 2009. Cultural Agreement Programme for 2016-19 had been signed during the visit of Thai PM in June 2016. A number of India Studies Centers are operational in prestigious Thai Universities. Regular visits of Indian cultural troupes are organized, in addition to Indian film and food festivals etc. Embassy in collaboration with Ministry of Culture and several local partners organized Festival of India in Thailand in March 2014, the 2nd edition in February-May 2015.

Festival of India in Thailand: The year 2017 marked the 70th anniversary of IndiaThailand diplomatic relations. On this occasion, the Festival of India in Thailand is going on
since August, 2017 onwards. The decision to hold this Festival was taken during the visit of General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of Thailand to India in June 2016.Over 6000 people participated in the 3rd International Yoga Day celebrations at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok on 18 June, 2017 and in various parts of Thailand.

Sawasdee India Quiz Contest(SIQC) on Facebook : Embassy of India conducted the Contest (twice) – First SIQC from 9 Jan – 5 Mar, 2017 & Second SIQC from 15 May- 15 June, 2017. Questions, with images, on various aspects of India were posed with the contestants offering a lot of prizes including Air tickets to India. This Contest generated significant interest among youth in Thailand.

Chitrakarma India Drawing Contest(CIDC) : The Embassy of India held this Contest from 15 March, 2017 till 31 May, 2017 targeting school children in the age range of 10-15 years. The theme of drawing was India and India-Thailand Friendship. The enthusiasm shown by young participants from different provinces of the Kingdom of Thailand was very heartwarming, and drew a lot of artworks altogether. 100 shortlisted drawings/paintings(out of 170 paintings received) were displayed in the form of an Exhibition for one in Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok. Winner was awarded three air tickets to India and others were also financially rewarded. This event gained popularity and 170 paintings were finally received from children studying in all regions, many from remote areas, of Thailand.

Education

An MoU on Cooperation in the field of Education was signed in 2005. During 201718, Government of India offered 82 scholarships to Thai students under its various schemes (ITEC – 40, TCS of Colombo Plan – 5, ICCR sponsored schemes – 24 and Hindi Scholarship – 13). A large number of Thai students are also studying on self-financing basis. Ministry of Human Resource Development provides for secondment of 8 professors every semester for the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Bangkok for the duration of 16 weeks.

Government of India contributed Rupees 1.25 crores (Thai Baht 10 million) in 2008 towards construction of a new building for the Sanskrit Studies Centre at Silpakorn University, Bangkok and has deputed a Sanskrit professor. An India Studies Centre is functioning at the Thammasat University of Bangkok since April 1993. In 2013 during the VVIP Visit, ICCR and PridiBanomyong International College of Thammasat University signed the MOU for establishment of Hindi Chair for BA Programme in Indian Studies which has been launched by the College. In 2008, Mahidol University of Bangkok started a Masters of Arts course on Indian studies. Subsequently, in 2010, the University established Centre for Bharat Studies. A Chair in Chulalongkorn University’s India Study Centre was inaugurated by HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn on March 6, 2012. Ministry of AYUSH and Rangsit University signed an MOU on establishing a Chair on Ayurveda at Rangsit University on 29 June 2015. Since 2012, the Government of India has provided funds for Thai students for short term Hindi Course at Mahatma Gandhi International Hindi University, Wardha, Maharashtra. “

Indian Diaspora in Thailand:

Indian Diaspora in Thailand: It is estimated that there are around 250,000 people of Indian origin in Thailand. Many of them have lived here for several generations over the past century and hold Thai nationality. The Indian community mainly comprises Sikhs and Hindus from Punjab, Sindhis, Gujaratis, people from eastern Uttar Pradesh & Bihar and Tamils. Three persons of Indian origin from Thailand have been bestowed with the prestigious ‘PravasiBhartiyaSamman in 2006, 2010 and 2017.

Embassies/Consulates: Besides the Embassy in Bangkok, India has a Consulate in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai. Thailand has consulates in Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai besides its Embassy in New Delhi.

Useful Resources:

http://mea.gov.in/Portal/ForeignRelation/27_Thailand_November_2017_new.pdf

Embassy of India, Bangkok Website: http://www.indianembassy.in.th; Facebook: Indian Embassy Bangkok; Twitter: @IndiainThailand

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November, 2017

ASEAN-India Expo and Forum on August 2-5, 2017

The ASEAN-India Expo and Forum has been announced, to strengthen strategic partnerships between ASEAN nations and India The Ministry of Commerce, as assigned by the Royal Thai Government, in collaboration with related agencies will host the “ASEAN-India Expo and Forum” on the concept of Strategic Economic Partnership & Connectivity, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the ASEAN-India relationship. The event will be held at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center from the 2nd to the 5th of August, 2017.
The four-day event is to feature two main activities: the Forum and the Expo. The Expo focuses on creative and digital matters, while the Forum concentrates on the areas of trade, investment, tourism, and people-to-people connectivity between ASEAN and India. Distinguished and well-known speakers from various sectors are expected to attend the event, lead the discussions, and give speeches. In addition, there will be a Business Matching Service in which participants can link up with compatible traders and resources. High potential and qualified businesses from many sectors of both ASEAN members and India will be showcased in individual zones. There will be more than 250 booths displaying their intriguing products and services.
The event aims to accentuate the importance of Thailand’s strategic location as the hub of the region and to boost trade, business, and tourism with other ASEAN nations and India. It is expected to strengthen partnerships between countries of the region and India, and to work as a platform which offers opportunities for executives, entrepreneurs, and policy makers to meet and engage in cultural diplomacy.
Mrs Apiradi Tantraporn, Minister of Commerce, today mentioned that the combined population of India and ASEAN can be rounded up to some 2 billion people, which means a huge opportunity for Thailand’s businesses and markets to expand their activities. ASEAN already ranks fourth among India’s trading partners, and in the case of Thailand, the economic value of trade with India accounted for 7 billion dollars last year. The Thai government aims to increase this trade by 4% this year.
At least 20,000 participants from ASEAN and India are expected to attend the event. People who are interested in participating can join free of charge throughout the period.

Insight into Indian-Thailand Relations with H.E. MR. Bhagwant Singh Bishnoi, Ambassador of India to Thailand

India has been Thailand’s great allies for over 70 years. At the same time, India has long enjoyed good economic and trading partnerships with ASEAN countries, This issue, MICE  Spotlight by NCC is honored to have a chance to talk with H.E. Mr. Bhagwant Singh Bishnoi, Ambassador of India to Thailand, on the relations between these countries, as well as the upcoming grande-scale event to mark the 25th anniversary of India-ASEAN relations.

 

70th Anniversary of India-Thailand relations

“Thailand was one of the first countries with which India established diplomatic relations in 1947. The relationship between Indian and Thailand is actually rooted and antiquity. Our relationship covers all aspects, covering political aspect, economic and commercial, education, scientific, technology, basically just about everything (smile). We have frequently hosted High-Level Exchanges between our two countries. Also, India and Thailand have always been solid bilateral economic partners. Whenever Indian companies thinks of establishing a manufacturing base in Southeast Asia, for many of them, the obvious choice is Thailand. Many of Indian largest conglomerates such as the Aditya Birla Group, Tata Group, and Polyplex (Thailand) Public Co., Ltd., all have manufacturing bases in Thailand. At the same time, India offers the largest and the most attractive market for foreign investors and a number of leading Thai companies are operating in India such as CP Group, Italian Thai Development and Thai Summit. The governments of our two countries jointly support and facilitate the international trade to ensure our trade’s continuing growth (smile).”

 

25 years of India-ASEAN Solidarity

“Apart from the bilateral context, for India it is also about region and global context. So when we look at Thailand we recognize the fact that Thailand is the center of ASEAN, and as far as India is concerned, ASEAN is the center of India’s ‘Look East’ policy. Throughout the past, we have arranged knowledge exchange, trade negotiations with ASEAN countries, as well as numerous events, including the 50th Anniversary of the Establishment of ASEAN, the 25th Anniversary of AEAN-India Dialogue Partnership, he 15th Anniversary of Summit Level Interaction and the 5th Anniversary of Strategic Partnership is organizing ASEAN-India Expo and Forum to celebrate the 25th anniversary of India-ASEAN relations, which is guaranteed to be a very interesting event.

 

ASEAN-India Expo and Forum… Celebrating 25 years of Friendship and The Future of Economic Prospects

 

“The ASEAN-India Expo and Forum, which is scheduled for August 2 – 5, 2017 at QSNCC (Queen Sirikit National Convention Center), is an excellent opportunity for India to present our economic information. We plan to focus of five areas:

  1. Pharmaceutical issues
  2. Automobile
  3. Textile
  4. India’s flagship investment programs
  5. India’s innovations and technologies.

Most importantly, this is the event where all ten ASEAN countries to present the best our countries have to offer. We hope to bring the business sector of every country even closer and encourage more investment partnership. We hope to see significant increase of India’s investment in Thailand and also of ASEAN’s investment in India (smile).”

The friendships between these nations are set to grow even further. This will surely contribute to the growth and prosperity of “ASEAN” in the foreseeable future.

Source: Spotlight

Indian Studies Program at Thammasat University Bangkok, Thailand

Bachelor’s Degree in Indian Studies (International Program) at Thammasat University Bangkok, Thailand

The Republic of India is a regional power and a rising global power that already plays an important role in today’s world, demonstrating its influence on current economic, political and cultural affairs. Its historical role in the regions is substantial as well, with Indian language and culture laying important foundations for Thai religious and political thoughts. Given India’s importance, and the need to train new generation of Indian Studies scholars in Thailand, the Pridi Banomyong International College has established the Indian Studies International Program. The purpose of the program is to produce graduates who have both Hindi language proficiency and a knowledge and understanding of India.

In the program, the student will learn issues about India such as Indian civilization, Indian Philosophy, contemporary Indian economics and Indian politics. They will also be able to use Hindi at the intermediate level. The medium of instruction in this program is English.

Address by Vice President at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok- “India, Thailand and ASEAN: Contours of a Rejuvenated Relationship

I am delighted to be here at this prestigious University named after the illustrious King Chulalongkorn or Rama V, whose centenary will be celebrated next year. I felicitate the University on moving towards this milestone.

Our relationship is not of recent origin. Some in this audience may know that King Chulalongkorn, after whom this University is named, paid a Royal visit to India in 1872. In 1915, we were honoured to receive another Royal visit from Thailand by King Vajiravudh (Rama VI), the founder of this University. We celebrated the centenary of that visit last year and, in particular, the enduring links then fostered between the Indian port city of Suratand Surat Thani in southern Thailand.

The establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community this year has been a historic event. This journey began in Bangkokin 1967. I am told that the Thai name of Bangkok, ‘ Krung Thep’ is an abbreviation for

“the city of angels, the great city, the eternal jewel city, the impregnable city of God Indra, the grand capital of the world endowed precious gems, the happy city, abounding in an enormous royal palace that resembles the heavenly abode where reigns the reincarnated God, a city given by Indra and built by Vihnukarn.”

To my mind, this is an apt illustration of the ancient links of civilization, culture and commerce that existed between Indiaand Thailand. These links give us shared perceptions of the evolving commercial and political environment in the region and the world at large.

My visit underscores the importance Indiaattaches to Thailandas part of our increasing engagement with the region. Despite the large size and rapid growth of our economies, the trade and investment between India and Thailand remains modest. There is a need to synergize our efforts in the areas of economy and business to enhance and diversify our trade. We need to encourage our private sectors to make investments in infrastructure and manufacturing sectors in the each others’ country and for this the two governments are willing to provide a predictable and comprehensive legal and taxation frame-work.

There is tremendous potential for enhancing our bilateral defence ties. Thailand has played host to ships of the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard on several occasions in recent years. We hope to continue this cooperation through technical, human resource development, capacity building and contributing to the development of Thai capacities, both physical and human.

Since 1991, Indiahas pursued a ‘Look East’ policy. This emanated from a perception that our economic progress and well being is intimately linked to the growth and prosperity of the entire Asian continent, especially of our friends across the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea. ASEAN was thus a natural partner for our engagement in the Asia Pacific region. It is a partnership based both on a shared heritage and a pragmatic appraisal of economic growth and prosperity; peace and stability.

Since the commencement of the dialogue relationship with ASEAN in 1992, the potential of this partnership has grown commensurate to the increase in our collective capacities, our growing economic integration and the ongoing evolution of the political and security architecture in South and East Asia. The up-gradation of the ASEAN-India relationship into a Strategic Partnership in 2012 was a natural progression in this relationship.

In recent months, we have enhanced our engagement in South-East Asia. This was reflected in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks in 2014 at the India—ASEAN summit at Nay Pyi Taw in Myanmar:

” India’s ‘Look East Policy’ has become ‘Act East Policy’. A rapidly developing India and ASEAN can be great partners for each other. We are both keen to enhance our cooperation in advancing balance, peace and stability in the region”.

Indiaplaces ASEAN at the core of the ‘Act East Policy’ and at the centre of our dream of an Asian century. There is a special emphasis on India-ASEAN cooperation in our domestic agenda on infrastructure, manufacturing, trade, skills, urban renewal, smart cities and Make in India programmes. Connectivity projects, cooperation in Science and Technology development and people-to-people exchanges are to be the springboard for regional integration and co-prosperity.

The Delhi Dialogue, the eighth edition of which will be held later this month; the ASEAN-India Eminent Persons Lecture Series and the ASEAN-India Centre in New Delhi are important components of our agenda to enhance mutual understanding. The ASEAN-India Plan of Action for the period 2016-20 was adopted in August 2015 which identifies concrete initiatives and areas of cooperation along the three ASEAN pillars – political-security, economic and socio-cultural. We have opened a separate Mission to ASEAN and EAS in Jakarta to further strengthen our engagement.

Today, India and ASEAN have 30 annual dialogue mechanisms including a Summitat Prime Ministerial level and seven sectoral dialogues at Ministerial level. We have established three funds to support our vast agenda with the ASEAN- the ASEAN-India Cooperation Fund, the ASEAN-India Science and Technology Fund, and the ASEAN-India Green Fund. Numerous projects are being implemented under these funds – ranging from establishing of a space station to fighting malaria to promoting agricultural research. The breadth and intensity of India’s engagement with South East Asia is unmatched by any of our other regional relationships. We have an intensive engagement across Governments as well as between experts, think tanks, private sectors, academia, diplomats, farmers, students and media.

This trident of Commerce, Culture and Connectivity defines the future focus areas of cooperation between ASEAN member Statesand India. Allow me to dwell on some aspects of it.

Culture: From Borobudur in Indonesia to Angkor Wat in Cambodia, our shared heritage finds an exuberant manifestation. The spread of Buddhism from India is attributed to Emperor Ashoka, who sent Buddhist emissaries to Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodiaand Vietnam. Indian mythology and folklore finds reflection here. The Thai epic, Ramakien is based on the Ramayana. The Ahoms, the Khamtis and the Khasis in people of India have links with Thai people. In modern times, many Indians emigrated to South East Asia in the 18th and 19th centuries. Their descendants today constitute a vibrant community of people of Indian origin, contributing actively to their respective countries of adoption.

In consideration of these links, India is considering the feasibility of liberalizing our visa regime for ASEAN countries to facilitate Buddhist tourist arrivals. The re-establishment of the Nalanda University, which has strong support from several ASEAN members, is progressing well. Nalanda was once a world-renowned knowledge hub where scholars from around the world, including South East Asia and India, exchanged knowledge and ideas. Now, we are working to create a similar world class university in the 21st century, with the support of our East Asian partners, and have offered scholarships to students from CLMV countries to study there.

Commerce: In the year 2014-15, ASEAN-India trade stood at US$ 76.58 billion, growing at an average annual growth rate of 12%, up from US$ 44 billion during the year 2009-10. In terms of two-way FDI flows, the India–ASEAN region has significantly outpaced many other regions of the world. Over the past seven years, US$ 25 billion of FDI equity has come into India from ASEAN countries and US$ 31 billion of Indian equity has found its way into ASEAN.

With mutual trade and investment opportunities arising from the realization of the ASEAN Economic Community and India’s emphasis on ‘Make in India’, ‘Digital India’, ‘Skill India’ and ‘Smart Cities’ initiatives, we are confident that India-ASEAN commercial partnership will flourish. The ASEAN-India Trade-in-Goods Agreement signed in 2009 has helped in bringing about steady increase in trade volumes. The entry into force of India-ASEAN Trade-in-Services and Investment Agreements in July 2015 was a major step forward. India is looking forward to progress in negotiations for a balanced and ambitious Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.

Science, technology & innovation constitute a vital pillar of India-ASEAN cooperation. India is planning to enhance the ASEAN-India Science and Technology Development Fund from the current US$ 1 million to US$ 5 million in near future. We are planning to set up an ASEAN-India Innovation Platform to facilitate commercialization of low cost technologies, technology transfer and collaborative R&D projects. India is implementing US$ 21.53 million project on Establishment of a Tracking and Data Reception Station and Data Processing Facility for ASEAN at Ho Chi Minh City, upgrading of the existing station at Biak, Indonesia and training ASEAN Personnel in Space Science & Technology in Dehradun in India.

We are open to offering ASEAN our indigenously developed GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) services, which provides advanced navigation and location assistance and information facilities.

Connectivity: Connectivity with ASEAN in all its dimensions – physical, institutional and people-to-people – continues to be a strategic priority for us. Special efforts are being made to develop a coherent strategy, particularly for linking ASEAN with North East India. This is reflected in the finalization of negotiations on the India-Myanmar-Thailand Motor Vehicles Agreement and ASEAN-India Maritime Transport Cooperation Agreement. ASEAN-India Civil Aviation Task Force is expected to oversee optimization of air connectivity. Other major projects on connectivity include the Kaladan Multi-modal Transit Transport Project and Rhi-Tiddim Road.

India has committed a Line of Credit of US $ 1 billion to promote projects that support physical and digital connectivity between India and ASEAN. India and ASEAN need to focus on an extension of the trilateral Highway to Cambodia, Lao PDR and Vietnam. We also have to work towards converting these transport corridors into economic corridors. The Mekong-India Economic Corridor, which is expected to connect the industrial and freight corridors in India with the production networks in the Mekong region through the Chennai-Dawei sea link will have a beneficial effect on all our economies. As part of our digital connectivity initiatives, we are exploring the setting up of information highways or i-ways between India and ASEAN.

It is evident that a stronger ASEAN–India partnership would give us a stronger voice on global governance issues. The time is ripe for our common engagement for bringing greater equity into the international order. ASEAN members and India have similar aspirations to have an open trading system through global organizations like the WTO. We have also shown a strong commitment, based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibility, as we take up our own role to address issues related to climate change. We are also together in the efforts for reforming the United Nations, particularly its Security Council. The role and composition of the United Nations Security Council needs to reflect the requirement of developing countries to have a greater say in decision making.

India has a shared vision for a peaceful region and the seas around us. We believe that all trade routes and the sea lanes must be protected from traditional and non-traditional threats and all countries using these international waters must act with responsibility and restraint. As the countries in the ASEAN region strive for greater economic integration, the safety of sea lanes – critical for maritime trade and commerce, maritime security, and access to marine resources in accordance with accepted international norms, continues to assume greater significance.

The evolving situation in the South China Sea demands restraint from all parties. We support collective efforts by ASEAN Member States and China to conclude the Code of Conduct to keep peace and stability in the region.

Non-traditional threats such as piracy, smuggling, transnational crimes and drug-trafficking are on the rise and pose a challenge for our countries and require strong and determined, coordinated action to control. The spreading tide of extremism and terrorism is a threat we both face. Successfully dealing with such threats requires strong cooperation among like-minded partners. Thailand and India already have a robust cooperation in this area and I am glad that we have also taken steps to institutionalize such cooperation at the regional level.

The rationale for a strong ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership is clearer than ever. As in the distant past when countries in this region and India shared robust trade links for mutual benefit and prosperity, today they have again emerged as key drivers of economic growth for the Asia-Pacific, and, indeed, the world. Together, India and South East Asia constitute a community of 1.9 billion people, representing one-fourth of humanity and account for a combined GDP of US $ 4.75 trillion; it is therefore only natural that they would work towards a qualitatively more substantive and invigorated relationship.

India is ready to meet the expectations of our friends in the region and play a more pro-active role in the processes leading to the ASEAN Community.

The economic and geo-political centre of gravity of the world has again shifted towards the Asia-Pacific, with the region showing unparalleled dynamism in economic, political, security and demographic terms. Today, as ASEAN and India stand at the dawn of a new era, time has come perhaps to reclaim our past heritage.

Long live Thailand-India friendship. Long live ASEAN-India friendship.

Thank You.

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Source: mymea.in/8cn

Public Relations Department holds media seminar on ASEAN Community Opportunities & Challenges

Public Relations Department Deputy Director-General Charoon Chaisorn presided over the opening ceremony for a media seminar on ASEAN Community Opportunities & Challenges. He said the media has to have correct information on the ASEAN community before it is formalized by the end of this year.

PNOHT581130001000210_30112015_120643

The seminar aims to make the media see varied opportunities and challenges following the ASEAN integration. That will benefit the ASEAN economy, transportation and innovation, according ASEAN Department Director-General Jakkrit Srivali, Institute of East Asian Studies Director Asst.Prof. Kiti Prasertsuk and Prajuab Supinee of the Department of International Trade.

Topics about Thai border provinces were also discussed by the provincial governor of Sra Kaeo and deputy provincial governors of Tak, Mukdaharn and Songkla.

The seminar was expected to pave better understanding by the press and public about three ASEAN pillars including Political-Security, Economic and Socio-Cultural Communities.

Source: http://thainews.prd.go.th/website_en/news/news_detail/WNOHT5811300010002

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