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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  27 November 2014  

Thai PM visits Laos, Vietnam today through Friday

26 November 2014: Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is officially visiting the Lao PDR and Vietnam from today through Friday to boost relations with both countries.
Accompanying him are Deputy Prime Minister/Foreign Minister Gen Tanasak Patimapragorn, Science and Technology Minister Pichet Durongkaveroj and Culture Minister Vira Rojpojchanarat.
The government spokespersons’ office stated that Laos and Vietnam were the third and the fourth ASEAN countries that Gen Prayut has visited following Myanmar and Cambodia after assuming his premiership.
The visits show that Thailand attaches importance to promoting close ties with neighboring countries and cooperation in ASEAN.
The prime minister is pushing for progress in existing and future cooperation projects with the countries.
In Vientiane, Gen Prayut is scheduled to meet Lao Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong and witness the signing of agreements on development project for Bokeo hospital; scientific, technological and innovative cooperation; and a grant for a road project from Hongsa to Chomphet district of Luang Prabang province there.
Gen Prayut is also scheduled to meet the Lao National Assembly president, the Thai business community and Thai diplomats in Laos.
The prime minister will leave for Vietnam tomorrow, where he will meet Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang, Vietnamese National Assembly President Nguyen Sinh Hung and Ta Quang Ngoc, president of the Vietnam-Thailand Friendship Association.
They will discuss cooperation on trade and investment, especially concerning farm products such as rice and natural rubber as well as roads between the two countries via Laos and Cambodia and the promotion of coastal transport.
On the occasion, the two countries will sign agreements on cultural exchange and the promotion of sister city relationship between Chachoengsao province and the Vietnamese city of Can Tho.
Gen Prayut's delegation will return to Thailand on Friday.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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