Thai Prime Minister Chan-o-cha visits the Philippines
With the hopes of strengthening the ties between the two countries, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha went to the Philippines for a two-day state visit on August 27-28, 2015.
PM Prayut arrived Thursday night and went straight to the Royal Thai Embassy. He was then welcomed by President Benigno Aquino III himself at the Malacanang Palace on Friday for a bilateral meeting and luncheon to honor the Thai premier.
A news report on CNN Philippines revealed that “Aquino and Chan-o-cha discussed a number of concerns including strengthening the incoming ASEAN common market, developing educational institutions, and forging partnership between the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Thai Royal Army where Chan-o-cha also served as a general.”
It added that Chan-o-cha stressed that the two countries “should work even more closely together to enhancing the partnership for prosperity between Thailand and the Philippines and strengthening the ASEAN community at large”.
According to statistics, Thailand is the country’s 8th largest trading partner in 2014, with total bilateral trade of 5.83 billion dollars while the Philippines is Thailand’s 6th largest trading partner in ASEAN.
In terms of defense and security, both leaders vowed to forge defense relations that will further reinforce the defense and security cooperation of the two nations. They welcomed the signing of the Terms of Reference for the Working Group of the Philippine Army and the Royal Thai Army in April this year.
The report also said that Aquino is confident that this agreement will “further strengthen our defense and security cooperation for the welfare of our people and of our brothers in ASEAN”.
It is reported that the “Thai leader also affirmed to cooperate with the Philippines and ASEAN countries in fully implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and promoting consultation in the (Code of) Conduct in the South China Sea.”
The report said it was the prime minister’s first visit to the country since he assumed office over a year ago. He was accompanied by his wife, Naraporn Chan-o-cha, and his delegation.
After the Thai PM’s stopover to the Thai embassy, He also went to Malacanang Palace on Friday where he was welcomed by President Benigno Aquino III himself. A toast was given by Aquino to honor Chan-o-cha and the Thai delegation.
The Thai leader left the Philippines on Friday at around 3:00 o’clock in the afternoon.