Tue, December 07, 2021

in-focus

Yingluck revives Thaksin's strategic 'look west' policy


before heading to Davos

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra yesterday wound up her two-day visit to India working to restore a "strategic partnership" initiated years ago by her brother Thaksin Shinawatra - spending the final hours as chief guest at the Republic Day of India celebrations.
The strategic ties are seen as reciprocal – connecting India with Southeast Asia through Thailand, while linking the Kingdom with South Asia via India.

The vision is compatible with Thailand’s look west policy and India’s look east policy, helping the two regions become closer, Yingluck told reporters.
She praised the significant growth and development of India during the past two decades – as the subcontinent plays an increasingly prominent world role and more Indian businesspersons were ranked in the annual Fortune 500 list of top global companies.
During talks between Yingluck and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday, the two countries agreed to speed up negotiations on a free-trade agreement (FTA) in goods, services and investment by March in order to reach conclusion by July.
Six agreements were signed after the talks, which included the transfer of sentenced persons, a memorandum of understanding on defence cooperation, and amending the framework agreement for establishing an FTA.
The framework agreement of the FTA was modified by adding an item for an early-harvest scheme, an official said.
The two countries will promote cooperation in science and technology, cultural exchange and cooperation between Thailand’s Chulalongkorn University and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations at the India Studies Centre at the Thai university.
At the parade to celebrate Republic Day of India yesterday, Yingluck sat with Pratibha Patil, India’s first woman president, and Singh, as marching bands and military hardware filed past.
Republic Day of India commemorates the Indian constitution coming into force on January 26, 1948. Only one head of state or government of another country is invited as chief guest for the celebration each year.
Yingluck later left India for the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, which she said would give her the opportunity to build confidence in Thailand among foreign investors.

Published : January 26, 2012

By : THE NATION, AGENCIES