Bangkok, Feb. 3 (ANI): As maritime neighbours, India and Thailand have a shared interest in the security of international sea lanes of communication and commerce, said Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari, adding that the resolve of both nations to strengthen their bilateral engagement in the areas of security and defence would help the region as a whole and promote greater regional economic integration and connectivity.
“The challenges of this century have been enormous and merits common understanding and joint efforts. Globalisation of terrorism, impact of climate change on humanity and the health hazards, which know no borders, require global action. The international community is grappling with issues related to migration and integration of people,” he said.
Inviting the government and business community in Thailand to avail the opportunities provided by a growing India, the Vice President said: “India is a bright spot with the highest economic growth amongst the larger emerging countries, and there is growing interest from across the world in building partnerships of trade, investment and innovation with India.”
Speaking at a banquet hosted by Thai Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha here on Wednesday, he noted, “Our talks earlier today have put in place a roadmap for further strengthening our economic cooperation and intensification of our collaborations in all areas. Your scheduled visit to India this year will further enhance this vibrant and mutually beneficial cooperation.”
“There is much untapped potential in our relationship and much to rediscover and learn from each other’s culture, industry and society. With its unique geographic location, Thailand can be a bridge linking South East Asia to East Asia, while India can act as your springboard to West and Central Asia and to Europe,” he said.
“Our cooperation, both bilaterally and in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) rubric, encompasses diverse areas of mutual interest, including trade and investment, science and technology, education, and cultural exchanges. People-to-people contacts at various levels are the lifeblood of our friendship. I am pleased that our two countries have taken important steps in the pursuit of closer cooperation, stronger connectivity and greater commerce,” the Vice President added.
Underlining that next year, India and ASEAN will mark the 25th anniversary of their dialogue relations, he said, “We look forward to working with you under the framework of ASEAN. We shall strive to strengthen the India-ASEAN partnership, as also the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) and Mekong-Ganga Cooperation.”
Stating that India and Thailand are natural partners, linked by history, geography and the close contacts between our two peoples, he said, “My visit, the first at by an Indian Vice-President in 50 years, is a manifestation of the desire we have to deepen the flow of ideas, people to people contacts and bilateral trade between our lands.” (ANI)