Top Stories : The Honorable Angelino Alfano, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Italian Republic, paid an Official Visit to Thailand news3

Top Stories : The Honorable Angelino Alfano, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Italian Republic, paid an Official Visit to Thailand

On 9 February 2018, the Honorable Angelino Alfano, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Italian Republic, had a bilateral meeting with H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, followed by luncheon hosted by Thai Foreign Minister in honour of the Italian Foreign Minister during his official visit to Thailand on 8 – 9 February 2018 as Guest of the Ministry. 
 
Various key aspects of cooperation were discussed. In terms of economic cooperation, both sides agreed that there remains more room for economic cooperation. The Italian side expressed an intention to cooperate with Thailand as “strategic partner” in potential areas of cooperation. The Italian side was impressed with the briefing on EEC and believed it was a comprehensive long-term strategy for Thailand in the region. Italy also expressed the wish to further explore investment opportunities in the EEC. Both sides also recognised the solid economic relations and acknowledged the active role of the Thai-Italian Business Forum. The Forum represents the driving force for business opportunities of both powerful Thai and Italian entrepreneurs. The Honorable Angelino Alfano also had a meeting with CEOs and members of Thai-Italian Business Forum.
 
With regard to the 150th Anniversary of diplomatic relations between Thailand and Italy, both sides shared the common views to revitalise the existing MoUs on SMEs on fashion and design, jewelry, and furniture. Since the Italian side has shown interest in the EEC, both Ministers agreed that the MoUs should be expanded to cover new potential areas, such as engineering, construction, oil and gas, manufacturing, Smart City and creative industry. Therefore, they agreed to reactivate the Joint Commission (Foreign Ministers level) which has been dormant for many years, to be a mechanism to propel further multi-faceted bilateral cooperation.
 
In terms of cultural relations, both sides also recognised the importance of the celebration of 150th Anniversary of Thai - Italian diplomatic relations this year. The Embassy of the Italian Republic in Thailand plans to organise 69 activities and will open an Italian Cultural Institute and an Italian Tourism Authority Office (ENIT) in Thailand this year.
 
Italy reiterated the increasing interest in ASEAN and plans to organise the Third High-Level Dialogue on ASEAN-Italian Economic Relations in Thailand in 2019, the same year in which Thailand will assume the ASEAN Chairmanship. Moreover, Italy expressed the willingness to support Thailand in her relations with the EU, be they political development, human rights situation, FTA, IUU and others.
 
On the same occasion, the Italian Foreign Minister paid a courtesy call on General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand. Both sides discussed bilateral relations including how to enhance economic cooperation.
 
The Honorable Angelino Alfano is the first EU Foreign Minister to visit Thailand after the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council had conclusions on Thailand. This visit illustrates Italy’s desire to revitalise political relations and to strengthen bilateral cooperation with Thailand as well as enhancing relations with ASEAN.