KUWAIT, Oct 16 – Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra reaffirmed close ties between Thailand and Kuwait and pledged that Thailand is ready to cooperate with the Middle Eastern country to produce Halal food for the world.
The Thai premier made her remarks as she hosted a reception for the Thai and Kuwaiti business communities as she arrived in Kuwait, at the opening of her three-day visit there.
Ms Yingluck said Thailand and Kuwait have had a close relationship for nearly 50 years and the value of mutual trade between the two countries has increased by 185 per cent in the past five years.
In the first half of this year, about 40,000 Kuwait tourists visited Thailand, she said.
The Thai prime minister stated that Thailand’s economic fundamentals remain strong: some US$74 billion is being invested for additional basic infrastructure development including transport routes connecting Thailand with neighbouring countries, expansion of international airports, and joint investment in Myanmar’s Dawei deep-sea port which will link Thailand with India and the Middle East.
Regarding economic cooperation between Thailand and Kuwait, Ms Yingluck highlighted the concept “Kitchen to the World”. She said that exports of Halal food have increased by 30 per cent compared to last year, and an efficient standardised Halal food industrial estate has been established in the country’s southern region.
She said Thailand expects to cooperate with Kuwait in producing and exporting Halal food to the world community.
Ms Yingluck added Thai businesspersons who accompanied her during this trip are also keen to invest in the energy, public health and tourism industries here.
The Thai premier is scheduled to attend the opening ceremony of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) summit, along with the leaders of 32 countries today.
As Thailand is an ACD coordinating country, Ms Yingluck will speak on Thailand’s role in tourism, finance and human resources.
ACD was inaugurated in June 2002 in Cha-Am, Thailand, where 18 Asian Foreign Ministers met together for the first time. A continent-wide forum, ACD aims to build links in Asia incorporating every Asian country, building an Asian community without duplicating other organisations or creating a bloc against others.
The grouping currently comprises 30 countries from East to West Asia, including Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.