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Thailand, Japan pledge to cement economic ties


08:59, January 18, 2013

Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra (R) and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (L) attend a joint press conference at the Government House in Bangkok, capital of Thailand, Jan. 17, 2013. Shinzo Abe arrived in Bangkok on Thursday for a two-day official visit to Thailand.(Xinhua/Gao Jianjun)

Key Words: Japan;Thailand;Abe;Asia Pacificl; ASEAN;economic ties;

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BANGKOK, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- Thailand and Japan agreed here on Thursday to further strengthen economic and business ties, as the two sides both expressed intention to cooperate in Thailand's key infrastructure mega-projects.

In a press briefing after her bilateral talk with visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Thai PM Yingluck Shinawatra said they agreed to increase cooperation under the existing framework of Japan-Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement (JTEPA).

Japanese investment in Thailand has largely increased by 85 percent during the first 11 months of last year which reflects the confidence of Japanese businessmen in Thailand, she said.

Yingluck said Abe's visit showcases Japan's intent to further strengthen strong strategic partnership between the two countries.

On his part, Prime Minister Abe expressed interest in involving Japan in Thailand's infrastructure development projects, such as the flood prevention system, high speed railway project and the trans-national Dawei project which straddles Myanmar and Thailand.

As the biggest overseas investor in Thailand and its biggest trade partner, Japan encourages SMEs investment in Thailand in such potential areas as green technology, automotive, aircraft, and energy, he said.

The two leaders also called on Asian countries to join hands in keeping peace and stability to maintain favorable atmosphere for economic development.

The newly-appointed Japanese PM, who came here from Hanoi, is scheduled to proceed to Jakarta on Friday to conclude his first overseas tour after taking office last December.

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