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Investment, tourism to dominate Medvedev’s talks in Thailand

April 08, 2015, 7:29 UTC+3 BANGKOK

A number of commercial contracts is also due to be inked

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BANGKOK, April 8. /TASS/. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is due to meet with his Thailand’s counterpart Prayuth Chan-ocha on Wednesday and also hold talks in a broader format after which a package of documents will be signed, Russia’s Deputy PM Sergey Prikhodko has told reporters.

The sides plan to sign a memorandum of understanding between the two countries’ Energy Ministries to develop energy industry cooperation and an agreement on mutual understanding between Russia’s Federal Drug Control Service (FSKN) and Thailand’s Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB).

Other documents include an agreement between Russia’s sanitary watchdog and the Thai department of fisheries and aquaculture import and export safety and the tourism action plan for 2015-2017, Prikhodko said.

A number of commercial contracts is also due to be inked. In particular, Russian Railways (RZD) will sign a memorandum on the project for the construction of railway infrastructure of a marine coal terminal on the Kalimantan (Borneo) Island.

Bangkok hopes that the forthcoming talks will focus "on a broad range of issues." In an exclusive interview with TASS First Deputy Director General Mikhail Gusman, Prayuth Chan-ocha said he hoped for enhancing trade ties with Russia, as Thailand is the largest rice producer in the world and one of the largest seafood exporters. "In talks with the Russian prime minister, I hope to reach such agreements that may be implemented right away, without delay," he said.

He also promised to take a flexible approach to Moscow’s interests. "If Russia has some problems in bilateral cooperation - you are free to point to them. We are friends, and we’ll always help. We can agree on anything we want," the Thai prime minister stressed.

The Russian prime minister is a welcome guest in Bangkok, to which there is visual confirmation. So, Russian flags have been placed since Friday on the way of Medvedev’s motorcade, and a large blue banner with greetings in three languages ··- Russian, Thai and English appeared on the Government House in the capital of Thailand.

In 2003, Russian President Vladimir Putin paid a visit to Thailand. However, the current visit at the level of the government head is the first in the history of modern Russia. Only head of the USSR Council of Ministers Nikolai Ryzhkov had paid a visit of this rank to the country in 1990. At the same time, Medvedev and Prayuth Chan-ocha are already acquainted: they held a meeting on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in November 2014.

The two countries have active cooperation in the trade and economic sphere. In 2014, the mutual bilateral trade volume reached $3.98 billion (an 18.7% increase). The two states’ cooperation in the energy sector has also good prospects. Thus, Thailand’s gas supplier PTT is considering securing regular supplies of Russian liquefied natural gas to the country.

Thailand’s popularity as a holiday destination among Russian tourists is growing. Last year, the number of Russian citizens visiting the country reached 1.6 million.

Medvedev arrived in Thailand on an official visit on Tuesday. This is the last leg of his five-day trip that started on Saturday and during which Medvedev has visited Khabarovsk in Russia’s Far East and the Vietnamese cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh.

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