MFA Press Statement: Introductory Visit by Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan to the Kingdom of Thailand, 28 to 29 March 2016

Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan is in Bangkok, Thailand for his introductory visit. Minister Balakrishnan called on Thai Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha at the Government House, where both sides reaffirmed the excellent and longstanding bilateral ties. Prime Minister Prayut and Minister Balakrishnan reiterated the importance of maintaining bilateral institutional links, including through mechanisms such as the Thailand-Singapore Civil Service Exchange Programme (CSEP) and the Singapore Thailand Enhanced Economic Relationship (STEER). They also discussed areas that both sides could further deepen their cooperation on. These include innovation, research & development, cruise tourism, ICT cooperation, water management, counter-terrorism and security. There was also an exchange on regional developments, including the challenges facing ASEAN.

Minister Balakrishnan was hosted to a working lunch by Thai Deputy Prime Minister in charge of Economic and Foreign Affairs Dr Somkid Jatusripitak. Deputy Prime Minister Dr Somkid welcomed greater investment from Singapore to support Thailand’s economic reforms. Minister Balakrishnan also made a courtesy call on Thai Privy Councillor General Surayud Chulanont, and will have a royal audience with Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn tomorrow.

Earlier in the day, Minister Balakrishnan and Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs Don Pramudwinai jointly officiated at the Opening Ceremony of the 12th Coordinating Meeting of CSEP (CSEP 12). CSEP 12, which involved over 30 civil service agencies from both sides, reaffirmed broad areas of collaboration, including in regional challenges such as transboundary haze, cyber security, and the management of infectious diseases. The CSEP 12 Joint Press Statement, issued following the closing plenary of the meeting, is attached.