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India, Thailand seek to enhance physical, digital links

Thursday - October 10, 2019 10:44 pm , Category : INDIA
New Delhi, Oct 10 (IANS) India and Thailand here on Thursday discussed ways to enhance physical and digital connectivity between them as well as identifying areas for cooperation in fields such as agriculture, science and technology, and information technology, the Ministry of External Affairs said.
The issues were discussed in the 8th Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) between External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and his Thai counterpart Don Pramudwinai.
The Ministers had a restricted bilateral meeting, which was followed by delegation-level talks, said the Ministry, adding the JCM was preceded by senior officials' meeting held on Wednesday.
During the meetings, both sides reviewed the progress made in all areas of bilateral relationship, including political, defence and security, economic and commercial, connectivity, cultural, tourism and people-to-people ties, the Ministry said.
"Both sides noted that India and Thailand are close maritime neighbours having historical and cultural linkages. In the contemporary context, India's 'Act East' policy is complimented by Thailand's 'Look West' policy.
"During the meeting both sides noted that bilateral trade has grown by 20 per cent last year and the investment is also growing," said the Ministry.
"Both sides decided to hold the next meeting of Joint Trade Committee to discuss ways and means to enhance trade and investment."
Jaishankar and Pramudwinai also discussed ways to enhance connectivity between the two countries including in the areas of physical and digital connectivity as well as identified areas for cooperation in the field of agriculture, science and technology, space, human resource development, capacity building, information technology.
They also exchanged views on regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest, including cooperation in Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Indian-Ocean Rim Association (IORA), Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC), UN and other sub-regional and international organizations.
"The understandings and decisions of the JCM were concluded in the form of Agreed Minutes of the Joint Commission, which were signed by the two Ministers."
Both Ministers also witnessed the signing of MOU between the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) of India's Ministry of External Affairs and Devawongse Varopakarn Institute of Foreign Affairs of Thailand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Thailand is the Chairman of ASEAN for 2019 and also country Coordinator for India-ASEAN Strategic Partnership for 2018-21.

--IANS rak/vd

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