The discussion covered various aspects of bilateral cooperation, in particular, the prospects for increasing trade and economic contacts and the development of humanitarian ties.
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Beginning of the meeting with Prime Minister of Thailand Prayuth Chan-o-cha
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Prime Minister, colleagues,
Please accept my warmest greetings. It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to meet with you on the sidelines of the BRICS summit.
This year, we mark the 120th anniversary of diplomatic relations: exactly 120 years ago, during his royal visit to St Petersburg, King Rama V agreed to establish diplomatic relations between Russia and Thailand.
In all these years, Russian-Thai relations have never been overshadowed by any negative events. Today, our relations are largely based on economic ties of course, and here we have good prospects.
While last year we observed a decline, there was significant growth in the first half of 2017. There is also a growing interest in Thai culture here in Russia, and the number of Russian tourists in Thailand is increasing.
Mr Prime Minister, I am very happy that we have a very good relationship, and we meet on a regular basis.
Prayut Chan-o-Cha (retranslated) : Thank you for coming. Today, I am pleased to meet with you again following our meeting in Sochi last year. Our relationship is a priority every year.
I know you are very busy. I welcome Russia’s influence on the international market. Again, I would like to invite you to Thailand, maybe next year, after the presidential elections.
As we pointed out, we need to achieve the goal of increasing our trade to $10 billion in 2020. I know that Russia imported more rubber and rice this year than last year, but the volume of trade is still low. I would like to see Russia [as a country] importing more such goods.
Please expedite [the work] of interested agencies (ministries) to send specialists to Thailand to look into Thai manufacturers.