THAI PM MAKES FIRST VISIT TO FRANCE IN 7 YEARS

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Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra arrived in France Friday

BANGKOK, July 20 (Xinhua) — Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra arrived in France Friday on the second leg of her official visit to Europe since taking office last year, the Thai News Agency reported.

This is the first visit to France by a Thai premier in seven years.

Yingluck is scheduled to stay in Paris for two days at the invitation of French President Francois Hollande. The visit will underscore the importance of the Thai-French strategic partnership under the Thai-French joint action plan.

Speaking to reporters before leaving Berlin for Paris later Friday, Yingluck said Thailand and France have been longtime trade partners. She will take this opportunity to exchange viewpoints on the eurozone debt crisis.

Thailand will affirm its readiness to support European Union policies to promote good governance, upgrade policy coordination and prevent economic imbalances in the regional grouping’s member countries, as well as financial bailouts for troubled economies, she said.

Yingluck emphasized that Thailand will foster trade and investment with France and expand Thai business opportunities as well as persuade more French companies to invest in Thailand as it is a regional hub connecting to other member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

An official statement posted on the Thai foreign ministry’s website said Prime Minister Yingluck is scheduled to meet with President Francois Hollande and have a discussion followed by a working lunch with French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault.

The Thai premier will witness the signing of the ” Intergovernment Agreement for Cooperation in Education and Research between the Government of Thailand and the Government of the French Republic”. RSS