Bilateral ties top Thai PM’s Qatar visit agenda:Envoy
DOHA EXPLORING bilateral business opportunities tops the agenda of Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s two-day official visit to Doha, according to Thailand Ambassador to Qatar HE Panyarak Poolthup.
Yingluck, who will arrive in Qatar on Tuesday, will precede the Thai and Qatari businessmen reception to be held at the Four Seasons Doha on Wednesday.
Speaking to Qatar Tribune on Sunday, the envoy said Thailand’s well-developed Halal food industry will be highlighted during the visit. The country, with a 12 percent Muslim population, is currently ranked sixth largest Halal food exporter in the world.
The absence of Thai firms in Qatar, despite the time-tested bilateral ties, is another concern the Thai PM wishes to address while in Doha.
“Thailand has an intensive economic cooperation with Qatar. Our country exports mainly automobiles and spare parts, electrical appliances, food products including fresh produce like fruits and vegetables to Qatar. In turn, we buy gas and fertiliser from Qatar,” Poolthup said.
“The Thai prime minister would like to further the bilateral ties and invite more Qatari investment. She would also invite Qatari agricultural sector representatives to visit Thailand and lean more about our Halal products,” he added.
The Thai premier will witness the signing of a number of agreements between the two countries which including a manpower cooperation deal.
The number of Thais in Qatar at present is put at 2,000. While most of them are construction labour, about 500 are in Qatar Airways employment.
Yingluck will also go to Aspetar, the first specialised orthopaedic and sports medicine hospital in the Gulf, he added.
“High-level visits help raise mutual awareness. The reports of the Thai press representatives accompanying the prime minister will help the Thais to learn more about Qatar and its people.
This is also an opportunity for the locals, especially Qatari businessmen, to learn more about Thailand,” said Poolthup.
The Thai prime minister’s 14- member official delegation includes ministers of foreign affairs, industry, energy and trade representative.