Bangkok, Seoul seal 900bn baht trade deal

Bangkok and Seoul have sealed a deal to exchange technical support on water management, trade, investment and nuclear energy research, as well as raising the value of annual bilateral

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak raise a toast during a Saturday night dinner dinner at the presidential house in Seoul. (Reuters photo)

trade to US$30 billion (900 billion baht) in five years.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak raise a toast during a Saturday night dinner dinner at the presidential house in Seoul. (Reuters photo)

The agreement was made upon the arrival of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra in Seoul Saturday afternoon. The prime minister and her entourage are on a four-day official trip to South Korea. She will also attend the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit for two days between tomorrow and Tuesday.

President Lee Myung-bak welcomed Ms Yingluck at his presidential residence where an official bilateral meeting between ministers and high-ranking officers from the two governments was held.

Thailand and South Korea agreed to exchange experience and technical knowledge on water management for disaster prevention. South Korea will support Thailand’s efforts to build a system to manage water resources. The two governments will sign a formal cooperation agreement.

They also agreed to cooperate on military affairs and rehabilitation following natural disasters, as well as research and development on nuclear energy for peace.

On bilateral trade, Bangkok and Seoul want to see the value rise to $30 billion by 2016.

Ms Yingluck suggested the revival of the joint Thai-South Korean trade committee, which she said could help both countries achieve the goal.

The prime minister asked South Korea to import more eggs and fruit from Thailand and at the same time persuaded it to invest more in Thailand’s industries such as automobiles, electronics, alternative energy and high-speed train services.

South Korea, meanwhile, wants to set up a South Korean cultural centre and a Korean studies centre in Thailand in one year.

Ms Yingluck also invited President Lee to attend the World Economic Forum on East Asia hosted by Thailand from May 30 to June 1.

Ms Yingluck and Mr Lee yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding on military cooperation between the two countries.

Today Ms Yingluck will visit the River Information Centre of the Han River Flood Control Centre in Seoul. She will be briefed on South Korea’s experiences on flood control and management.

Tomorrow, the Thai premier will give a lecture to students at Ehwa Woman’s University.

Source: http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/285865/bangkok-seoul-seal-900bn-baht-trade-deal

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