ISLAMABAD, Dec 03 (APP):Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain Friday said Pakistan and Thailand were celebrating 70th friendship anniversary this year as they enjoyed close and cordial bilateral relations.
Addressing a function on the occasion of National Day of Thailand here, he said Pakistan’s Buddhist heritage had a strong historical and cultural connection to the Thai people. Taxila was immensely popular among the Thai people, he added.
The two countries, he said, had close views and coordination on various regional and global issues at multilateral fora and were strong supporters of multilateral and regional cooperation.
“Ever since the establishment of diplomatic relations seven decades ago, we have attached importance to the promotion and diversification of bilateral relations,” Fawad said.
The minister said Thailand’s “Look West” policy and Pakistan’s “Vision East Asia” policy had a wide scope for expanding bilateral relations. “We look forward to a strategic partnership with Thailand based on strengthening political, trade and defense ties,” he said.
In addition to the nearly 5,000 Pakistanis in Thailand, there was a vibrant community of Thai citizens of Pakistani descent, known as Thai Pathans, and they were acting as a bridge between the people of the two countries, he said.
He said it was gratifying that these people had blended into Thai society and become an asset to Thailand, and they had stepped into business, public service and politics.
He said there were currently six Pakistani-Thai members of the parliament and two senators in the ruling alliance.
He said promoting trade and investment between the two countries was top priority of the government.
Pakistan’s geo-economic policy aimed to take full advantage of its geo-strategic location, promote ties, regional peace and development, he said.
The minister said increase in bilateral trade in recent years was welcome. In 2020, the total trade between the two countries was 1105.80 million US dollars and Pakistan was committed to increase trade potential, said Fawad.
“There are ample opportunities for tourism in Pakistan and we want to promote our tourism by providing modern facilities in the sector,” said the minister.
He said there was need to enhance bilateral cooperation in the fields of film and drama.
He said for the Thai people, Buddhist places as well as the beautiful mountainous areas in the north were very attractive places.
He said a prominent Thai Buddhist monk during his visit to Pakistan in October 2019, expressed interest in launching some projects to raise awareness about Pakistan’s Buddhist heritage in Pakistan and Thailand.
He said Pakistan would look forward to the arrival of Thai tourists here. “To facilitate travel and tourism, we have streamlined our visa system,” he said adding the e-visa and visa on arrival facility had been extended to almost all countries, including Thailand.