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Thailand, Belgium pledge to expand economic cooperation


17:23, March 18, 2013

BANGKOK, March 18 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Crown Prince Philippe of Belgium met with Thai officials here on Monday to discuss trade and investment cooperation.

The Belgian royal entourage, consisting of nearly 200 ministers and business leaders from the western European country, met at a downtown hotel with a Thai working team led by the kingdom's Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom.

Boonsong and his team briefed the Belgian guests with an overall picture of the Thai economy and the launch of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015, entitled "Thailand at glance". The two sides also discussed expanding trade and investment cooperation including the free trade agreement between Thailand and the European Union.

The Belgian business leaders are keen on cooperating with Thailand on alternative and clean energy, health services and medical supplies, agro-industry and food, infrastructure and logistics.

As guests of Thai King and Queen, Crown Prince Philippe and his wife Princess Mathilde arrived in Bangkok on Sunday on an official visit to Thailand aimed at boosting economic cooperation between the two nations. They are scheduled for a royal audience with Thai King on Friday.

During his six-day visit, the Belgian crown prince will also chair a ceremony to launch repairs on the Thai-Belgian Friendship Bridge and will visit Belgian firms on the Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate in the eastern Rayong province.

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