Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra will lead a delegation to visit Mozambique, Tanzania, and Uganda from 28 July to 2 August 2013.
According to the Director-General of the Department of South Asian, Middle East, and African Affairs, Mr. Narong Sasitorn, the visit aims to explore Thailand’s trade and investment opportunities in the African countries.
Accompanying the Prime Minister will be a group of business people engaged in the fields of energy, food, construction, and tourism industry. The Prime Minister will take this opportunity to strengthen relations between Thailand and the three countries. She will also give a speech at a Business Forum in Mozambique.
Apart from boosting trade and investment, Mr. Narong said that the visit will help expand markets for Thai products, especially rice and other agricultural goods. African people consume about 37 million tons of rice a year. Thailand exports four million tons of rice to Africa each year. The amount is likely to increase in line with economic expansion in the region. On this occasion, Thailand will sign 17 important documents for cooperation with the three countries in various areas.
The Cabinet, during its meeting on 19 July 2013, approved a number of memorandums of understanding (MOUs) and other documents to be signed with the three countries during the Prime Minister’s visit.
In Mozambique, the Energy Minister, or his representative, will represent Thailand in signing the MOU on cooperation in oil and gas and development. Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul will sign the MOU on cooperation in tourism, the MOU on cooperation in food security, agricultural products, and consumer goods, the MOU on technical cooperation, the agreement on exemption of visa requirements for holders of diplomatic and official passports, and the agreement on trade and economic cooperation. The Cabinet also approved the Thai-Mozambique joint statement on the occasion of the official visit of Prime Minister Yingluck to Mozambique from 28 to 30 July.
In Tanzania, the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, or his representative, will sign the MOU on cooperation in the management of national parks and wildlife and the MOU on cooperation in geology and mineral resources. The Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister will sign the MOU on cooperation in food security, agricultural products, and consumer goods, the MOU on technical cooperation, and the agreement on investment promotion and protection.
As for Uganda, the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister will sign the MOU on technical cooperation.
This MOU will promote south-south cooperation and enhance Thailand’s role in strategic partnership for Africa’s development. Thailand will convene a Thai-African High-Level Dialogue in early 2014.