Thailand ready to offer further assistance to Sri Lanka
June 2, 2023 01:33 pm
Thailand’s Prime Minister and Defense Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha on Wednesday welcomed Sri Lankan Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena on his official visit to the south-east Asian country.
Gunawardena paid a courtesy call on Gen. Prayut on the occasion of his visit to attend the 18th United International Vesak Day on June 1-2.
Regular collaboration between Thailand and Sri Lanka on the celebration of Vesak Day reflects close relations between the two countries, especially Buddhism that connects the two countries for over 700 years.
The Thai prime minister also congratulated Sri Lanka’s economic recovery, and expressed Thailand’s willingness to provide further assistance should there be a request from Sri Lanka. He also thanked Sri Lankan Government for approving the return to Thailand of “Plai Saksurin,” a male elephant bestowed to the Government of Sri Lanka by the Thai counterpart 21 years ago, for treatment.
The Sri Lankan prime minister thanked his Thai counterpart for the warm welcome, and expressed pleasure to celebrate the Vesak Day in Thailand.
He hoped that the two countries also forge relations and cooperation in other potential areas, particularly human resource development, and to promote exchange of visits at all levels.
On economic cooperation, both the prime ministers were pleased with the progress on Thailand-Sri Lanka FTA negotiation, which is hoped to finalize by early 2024 to elevate economic cooperation and increase mutual trade value.
The Sri Lankan prime minister called on the Thai Government to encourage Thai private sector’s investment in the country. At present, a number of Thai private sectors has expressed interest to invest in Sri Lanka’s Port City of Colombo project, on which the prime minister was confident that Thailand’s expertise in tourism & service sector, and retailing would be beneficial to the project.