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Indian FM Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Thailand; Many agreements signed

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On the last day of her three-day visit, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj co-chaired the 7th meeting of the India-Thailand Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation. Her counterpart is Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister General Tanasak Patimapragorn.

Agreements signed

  1. The double taxation avoidance treaty:
  • It provides for the framework to avoid double taxation
  • And prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes
  • This agreement promotes bilateral economic cooperation as companies from both countries would find it easier to do business in other’s countries. And as the agreement tries to prevents tax evasion, trust between the companies and their host countries would increase.

 

  1. Extradition treaty:
  • The two countries inked the extradition treaty inked in 2013, now they exchanged instruments of ratification with each other
  • It provides for the legal framework for seeking extradition of fugitive offenders, including those involved in terrorism, transnational crimes, economic offences etc.
  • It applies to any person from either country who is wanted for trial or for the imposition or enforcement of any sentence concerning that person who found in the territory of the other country
  • This would strengthen the relationship between the security agencies of the two countries
  1. Nalanda University
  • The two sides have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Establishment of Nalanda University
  • Thailand now joins other East Asian Summit countries in the establishment of Nalanda University in Bihar
  1. Ayurveda Chair
  • An MoU on the establishment of an Ayurveda Chair in one of the Thai Universities was signed between the Ministry of Ayush and Rangsit University of Thailand
  • Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences will set up a Chair at the Thai University to undertake academic and research activities in Ayurveda

Other important developments:

  • India and Thailand discussed the possibilities of joint ventures in defence manufacturing
  • The discussion on defence would be taken forward when Thai defence minister Gen (Rtd) Prawit Wongsuwon would be visiting India this year
  • This move by both countries is significant in the context of China’s military might in the region is growing to a disproportionate level
  • The issue of the ambitious trilateral highway project between India and Thailand via Myanmar was also discussed during the meeting. Its completion is very important for India to have connectivity with ASEAN region. Presently under construction, it would be completed by 2018-19.

India-Thailand relationship:

  • Thailand as an important pillar of India’s policy and a valued partner
  • In recent years, the relationship between the two countries has expanded to virtually all areas of bilateral cooperation
  • Our bilateral relations with Thailand are based on deep-rooted cultural, religious and neighbourly association between the people of our two nations.
  • Our common heritage of Buddhism and the philosophy of compassion, tolerance, non-violence and peace have laid strong foundations for this relationship
  • Thailand has a ‘Look West’ foreign policy since 1996 which complements perfectly with India’s ‘Look east policy’ adopted in 1993
  • The current defence cooperation between the two countries comprises regular joint exercises/joint maritime patrols near the international boundary to counter terrorism, piracy and smuggling, training of officers at each other’s armed forces training institutions and participation as observers in military exercises.