Thailand, Malaysia agree on joint economic, security development in restive South region

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VLADIVOSTOK, Sept 8 -Thailand and Malaysia on Saturday agreed to boost cooperation on economic, political and national security development along Thailand’s southern border, as leaders of the two countries met on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) currently being held in Russia.

Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, now attending the APEC Summit on Russky Island in Vladivostok between September 7-9, made remarks after attending a bilateral talk with Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak.

Ms Yingluck said the two countries agreed to use technology for security operations along the border in an attempt to ensure safety for the public and boost trade and investment volume.

The premier said the issue will be raised during the meeting of Thailand-Malaysia Joint Commission Meeting which will be hosted by Malaysia in October.

The two leaders also discussed the latest disturbances in Thailand’s Deep South in which dozens of both dummy and real bombs were planted in several locations, together with Malaysian national flags.

Ms Yingluck reaffirmed the strong bilateral ties between Thailand and Malaysian, despite attempts to cause misunderstanding among them, while Mr Najib said the two neighbours will work together to tackle the problems.

Malaysian premier also said he is satisfied with the Thai government’s policies toward the far South which focuses on peaceful approaches, together with the region’s development.

Ms Yingluck and Mr Najib also talked about falling rubber prices. The Thai premier urged for more concrete discussions to solve the problem and add value to the products produced by Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, as this was an urgent issue to protect rubber prices.

After the talk with her Malaysian counterpart, Ms Yingluck also held a bilateral talk with Chilean President Sebastian Pinera on the progress of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries, which is expected to be signed by the end of this year or early next year.

Ms Yingluck said the Thai automobile industry, especially pick-up trucks, car tyres, cement, electronic devices, rubber products, as well as the service and hotel sectors, would benefit from the FTA.