Thai PM Yingluck visits Philippines to boost ties

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BANGKOK, Jan 19 — Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Thursday left Thailand for a one-day official introductory visit to the Philippines, her eighth overseas trip to the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) since she took office last August.

The Manila visit is aimed at introducing the Thai premier to one more ASEAN country member and boosting bilateral ties between the two countries.

During the visit, she is expected to hold a one-on-one bilateral with Philippine President Benigno Aquino III before the plenary session of the two nations delegations.

Ms Yingluck told reporters before the visit that she and President Aquino will discuss trade and investment, particularly agricultural exports such as vegetables, fruit, and meats that Thailand wants to export more, in terms of volume and categories.

She will also focus on resolving double taxation issues to benefit the Thai business community who invested in the Philippines. Energy cooperation was also on the agenda.

The premier said that Manila has proposed hosting the 5th Joint Commission, which is a good sign as there have been no new developments in trade and investment between the two nations for quite a long time.

Ms Yingluck said that she would take this opportunity to explore the opportunity to export more rice to the Philippines and believed that the visit could help strengthen other fields of bilateral cooperation including education.

President Aquino will host a luncheon to honour the Thai premier before her return to Thailand.