India, Thailand agree to step up relations

17 Jun 2016 | Written by Nandita ; Edited by Gaurav

Thai PM Gen Prayut Chan-o-Cha was given a ceremonial guard of honor at the Rastrapati Bhavan upon his arrival.

PM Modi & Gen. Chan-o-Cha also held bilateral discussions on a range of topics.

Both sides agreed to bolster co-operation in the fields of defence and maritime security.

Gen Chan-o-Cha will also attend the inaugural meeting of the India Thailand Joint Business Forum.

In context: Improving Indo-Thai relations

Introduction Historical and contemporary Indo-Thai relations

Indo-Thai relations can be traced back to the 3rd century BC when King Asoka sent Buddhist monks to preach Buddhism.

Currently, over 94% of the Thai population are Buddhists.

India and Thailand established formal diplomatic relations in 1947, soon after India's independence.

Currently they are both part of important multilateral fora including ASEAN, East Asia Summit, Asia and BIMSTEC.

Deep cultural links between India and Thailand

The Hindu epic of Ramayana is extremely popular in Thailand. Thailand has adapted the Ramayana to suit the Thai lifestyle and has come up with its own version of the Ramayana, namely, the ‘Ramakien’.
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India, Thailand Taking Steps to Expand Ties

Economic tiesIndia, Thailand Taking Steps to Expand Ties

India's 'Look East' policy was a significant factor in augmenting Indo-Thai relations.

Trade between the two nations increased eight-fold from 2000 to cross US$ 8.6 billion in 2014.

India's imports from Thailand primarily consists of chemicals, iron & steel, heavy machinery, etc.

Jwellery, precious metals, precious stones, rubber and appliances are the primary Indian exports to Thailand.

Maritime Co-operationExpansion of Maritime Security & Defence Trade

India & Thailand are expected to bolster bilateral co-operation to fight terrorism, improve maritime security and expand defence trade.

The move is strategic as it will improve India's presence in South East Asia, close to regions where China has territorial disputes.

A joint statement is expected to be issued on the subject during the Thai PM's bilateral visit to India.

16 Jun 2016Thai PM's three day visit to India

Thai PM Gen. Prayut Chan-o-Cha arrived in Delhi on a bilateral visit.

The visit seeks to bolster bilateral relations in trade and defence and security.

Gen Chan-o-Cha and PM Modi are expected to hold talks regarding the situation in the South China Sea.

He is also expected to deliver a speech at a bussines event organized by FICCI/ASSOCHAM/CII.

17 Jun 2016 India, Thailand agree to step up relations

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Tweets By PM Modi on Gen. Chan-o-Cha's Visit

"The convergence of Thailand's 'Look West' & India's 'Act East' policy lights the path to a bright future of our partnership" - Prime Minister Narendra Modi

18 Jun 2016Indo-Thai relations: Defence ties improved, double-entry e-visa granted

PM Modi and Thai PM Gen Prayuth Chan-o-Cha announced the issuance of double entry e-visas for Thai nationals to facilitate their visit to India's Buddhist shrines and monasteries.

Modi said the two sides "agreed to further deepen our security engagement in the fields of cyber security, narcotics, transnational economic offences and human trafficking."

The two sides are rapidly stepping up maritime defence co-operation too.