PARIS, July 20 – Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Friday urged France and Thailand to expand their reciprocal investments so as to help stimulate the French economy and expand business opportunities for more Thai companies.
Ms Yingluck, who arrived Paris earlier in the day for an official visit at the invitation of French President François Hollande, held bilateral talks with the president.
She later had a working lunch with French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault. Both witnessed the signing ceremony of agreements on bilateral cooperation on education and research.
The Thai premier assured the French leaders of Thailand’s economic potential and recovery after the massive flood last year.
She praised the French government’s active role in solving the eurozone debt crisis and affirmed Thailand’s readiness to support European Union (EU) policies to promote good governance in the financial sector.
Ms Yingluck added that Thailand has closely monitored the development of the economic crisis in Europe as it was a major export market for Thailand and hoped that the EU would not apply market protectionism to solve its problems.
Thailand could play a role in helping stimulate French economy by expanding more Thai companies’ investment in major French businesses, she said.
Both Thai and French leaders have mutually agreed that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the EU should further strengthen their relations as strategic partners.
Thailand also supported France to play a role in ASEAN, in particular the transfer of technology, Ms Yingluck said.
The French President is scheduled to attend the 9th ASEAN summit and other related meetings in Vientiane, Lao this November.
Premier Yingluck earlier met with French businesspersons and urged them to expand investment in Thailand. The Thai government’s seven-year infrastructure investment plan worth 50 billion euro will provide opportunities for French and European investors, she said.
French investors were also invited to join the government’s plan to set up an aerospace industrial estate in Nakorn Ratchasima as a regional aerospace repair hub.