Press Release : The Visit to Thailand of the Minister of State to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of the French Republic during 12 – 13 February 2018 news3

Press Release : The Visit to Thailand of the Minister of State to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of the French Republic during 12 – 13 February 2018

          On 12 February 2018, H.E. Mr. Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Minister of State to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of the French Republic, had a bilateral meeting with H.E. Mr. Virasakdi Futrakul, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, during his official visit to Thailand during 12 – 13 February 2018. The main objective of this visit was to strengthen the Strategic Partnership between two countries through the enhancement of two-way trade and investment, especially under Thailand 4.0 policy and infrastructure development projects in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).
          During the meeting, both sides recognized similarities between the two countries that have contributed to their close collaboration. One such example is Thailand 4.0 policy and French Tech which share common objective of developing the country to have an innovative and technology-based economy. The introduction of SMART Visa in Thailand is itself derived from the original concept of French Tech Visa. 
          The Thai side expressed appreciation for France’s support in the EU Foreign Affairs Council’s conclusion on Thailand, which has led to the resumption of Thailand - EU political relations and future exchanges of high-level visits. Thailand raised the possibility of prospective visits to France by the Prime Minister and/or Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand where they would witness the signing of the Joint-Venture Company Principle on Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) between Airbus and Thai Airways.
          Given the current dynamism of the Thailand - France partnership, that has evolved to cover virtually every aspect of cooperation, the French Minister of State was receptive to Thailand’s proposal to set up a ministerial-level mechanism to forge bilateral multi-faceted cooperation.
          The meeting also provided an opportunity for both sides to constructively exchange views on regional and global issues, including the situation in the Rakhine State, the Asia - Europe Meeting (ASEM), the Ayeyawady - Chao Phraya - Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS), the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), as well as China and India’s roles in the region. Furthermore, the French side expressed hope for the resumption of discussion on a Thailand - EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which would contribute to a potential of ASEAN - EU FTA.
           H.E. Mr. Lemoyne also expressed France’s support on the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie’s position on Thailand, and its readiness to cooperate with Thailand in the framework of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
          During the visit, the French Minister of State also paid courtesy calls on H.E. Mr. Uttama Savanayana, Minister of Industry; H.E. Mr. Kobsak Pootrakool, Minister attached to the Prime Minister's Office; and H.E. Mr. Suvit Maesincee, Minister of Science and Technology, as well as met with H.E. Mr. Pairin Chuchotethavorn, Deputy Minister of Transport, to further explore investment opportunities in the EEC. H.E. Mr. Lemoyne also attended functions with the Thai and French private sectors which were organized by the French Embassy in Thailand.