Time ripe for greater Indo-Thai engagement: VP Ansari

Rajat Kain

VP Ansari in Bangkok 1

Bangkok: Vice President Hamid Ansari being welcomed at Chulalongkorn University, in Bangkok on Thursday. PTI Photo

A day after holding a significant one-on-one meeting with the Prime Minister of Thailand General Prayut Chan-o-Cha, Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari held firm that there is a tremendous potential for enhancing the bilateral ties between India and Thailand in several spheres. Addressing the gathering of students and faculty at the Chulalonkorn University in Bangkok, he lauded the defense cooperation between the two nations.

“Thailand has played host to ships of the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard on several occasions in recent years. We hope to continue this cooperation through technical, human resource development and capacity building,” the Vice President said.

Addressing the students and Indian diaspora at the Chulalonkorn University, he once again emphasized on the need to find effective ways to counter the menace of terror and extremism.

“The spreading tide of extremism and terrorism is a threat we both face…. Successfully dealing with such threats requires strong cooperation among the like-minded people,” he added.

Affirming that India is ready to meet the expectations of its “friends in the region” VP Ansari said that it is willing to play a more pro-active role among the ASEAN community.

“Time is ripe for our common engagement for bringing greater equity into the international order. ASEAN members and India have similar aspirations to have an open trading system through global organization like the WTO,” the Vice President said touching upon the sphere of trade, commerce and infrastructure between the two countries and the larger ASEAN community.

Vice President Hamid Ansari, however, stressed that the trade quantum between India and Thailand is yet to be explored fully.

“Despite the large size and rapid growth of our economies, the trade and investment between India and Thailand remains modest,” he said adding, “There is a need to energise our efforts in the areas of economy and business to enhance and diversify our trade.”

Expressing that the trident of Commerce, Culture and Connectivity defines the future focus areas of cooperation between ASEAN member states and India, the Vice President stressed on the flagship initiatives by the Government of India.

“With mutual trade and investment opportunities arising from the realization of the ASEAN Economic Community and India’s emphasis on ‘Make in India’, ‘Digital India’, ‘Skill India and ‘Smart Cities’ initiatives, we are confident that India-ASEAN commercial partnership will flourish,” he added further.

After his address at the Chulalonkorn University, he met with the gathering of Indologists and members of Indian diaspora in Thailand.

Later in the day, he paid a visit to the temples of Reclining Buddha and Emerald Buddha in the capital city.