Thailand and Italy to strengthen ties in renewable energy
Thailand and Italy to strengthen ties in renewable energyLegacy

Thailand and Italy will intensify cooperation in renewable energy, sports tourism, medical science, pharmaceuticals, and defence, according to Deputy Government Spokeswoman Radklao Intawong Suwankiri.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin and his Italian counterpart Giorgia Meloni will discuss these topics to bolster bilateral ties during the premier’s official five-day visit to Italy which started yesterday.

Celebrating the 156th anniversary of diplomatic relations, the prime minister aims to invite Italian companies to invest in Thailand’s fashion industry, soft power initiatives, agricultural technology, food industry, and sustainability-linked bonds. The government’s Land Bridge project will also be promoted.

Expertise sharing in GI (geographical indication)-registered products, SMEs promotion, the space industry, and food sustainability will be part of the discussions.

Srettha will advocate for a Schengen visa waiver for Thai passport holders, the finalisation of the Thailand-EU FTA negotiations by 2025, and future employment opportunities for Thai workers returning from Israel.

The 62 year old Thai PM met with Carlo Capasa, chairman of the National Chamber of Italian Fashion, Attilio Fontana, the governor of Lombardy, and Raffaele Cattaneo, the region’s undersecretary for international and European relations.

The prime minister also toured the Versace fashion house in Milan, engaging in talks with executives from Versace, Zegna, and Loro Piana. Srettha presented textile products from the Donkoi Model Project in Sakhon Nakhon, an initiative by Her Royal Highness Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana Rajakanya, to promote traditional Thai wisdom in indigo dyeing.

France visit

Prior to his Italy visit, Srettha and a delegation of Thai business executives attended the Thailand-France Business Forum in France. He met with French President Emmanuel Macron to follow up on previous discussions, focusing on trade and investment, the defence industry, soft power, and enhancing the France-Thailand strategic partnership per the Roadmap for Thai-French Relations (2022-2024).

At the forum, Srettha highlighted France as the first European country he officially visited post taking office, emphasising the strong bilateral relationship demonstrated by his return visit within three months.

The Bangkok-born PM invited the CEO of Comité Colbert to Thailand to experience Thai culture and craftsmanship firsthand, expressing Thailand’s intent to learn from and collaborate with France to bolster its creative economy sectors.

Srettha noted that top Thai companies joined the visit, underscoring his and Macron’s commitment to fostering private sector connections and collaborations.

Thailand is France’s third-largest trading partner in ASEAN, with Srettha expressing ambitions to become the largest partner in the region. Approximately 30,000 Thais reside in France, while around 40,000 French nationals live in Thailand, the second-highest number of French expats in Asia.

Last year, 270,000 French tourists visited Thailand, and France welcomed nearly 200,000 Thais, reported Bangkok Post.

The Thai government recently launched the Ignite Thailand vision, aiming to establish the country as a global hub in eight sectors, including tourism, wellness and medical, aviation, and logistics.

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Author: Mitch Connor