Prime Minister Yingluck pleased with visit to Australia


BANGKOK, 2 June 2012 – The prime minister has expressed satisfaction with her official visit to Australia and hoped the two countries will cooperate more in various areas, especially trade and investment. 

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra spoke of her trip to Australia from May 26 to 29 in her program “Yingluck Government Meets the People” this morning. The objectives of the trip were to strengthen bilateral relations and promote cooperation in educational exchanges. Furthermore, the discussion between the two leaders centered around trade and exports. Both sides agreed to set a growth target of 20% per annum in bilateral trade and investment.

The prime minister also discussed a possibility for Thailand to export fresh meat to Australia, including chicken and shrimp. Australia, at present, has in place a number of strict import regulations regarding these types of products.

If further negotiations on the matter are successful, Thai exports to Australia will significantly rise.

The prime minister also raised the problem of Thai laborers in finding jobs in Australia. Although Australia is experiencing a labor shortage in the fields of construction and engineering and wants Thai laborers to fill in the shortage, it is still hard for Thais to fill in the jobs as they have to pass an English test. The requirement has greatly reduced the number of Thai laborers who can work in Australia. The prime minister proposed to her Australian counterpart that exceptions be made for laborers in certain fields, such as food and service industries.