Thailand is keen on establishing maritime and tri-nation railway connectivity as well as assisting Bangladesh in enhancing its maritime capabilities.
Thailand Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday expressed his country's interest while stressing the need for a heightened trade and investment cooperation with Bangladesh.
Gen Prayut made the comments as he spoke with journalists from The Daily Star and four TV channels from Bangladesh at Bangkok's Thai Ku Fah Building, the Government House of Thailand, yesterday morning following his meeting with visiting Bangladesh Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali.
During the meeting, the Thai prime minister instantaneously asked his office to examine the possibility of a proposal to establish a tri-nation railway network connecting Bangladesh, Myanmar and Thailand, said meeting sources, adding that the proposal was recently made at the recent meeting of World Economic Forum in Davos of Switzerland.
“We are a neighbour of Bangladesh. Although we don't have a land boundary, but we are maritime neighbours. With having our expertise in maritime resources, we are ready to assist Bangladesh in exploring maritime resources and capabilities. We are eager to cooperate [with] Bangladesh in the economic front to elevate our ties for the benefit of the two countries and the peoples,” Gen Prayut said.
While making an offer to establish coastal shipping connectivity between the ports of Thailand's Ranong and Bangladesh's Chittagong, he also pledged his full support in Bangladesh's bid for gaining membership in Mekong-Ganga Cooperation Forum and the Asean Sectoral Partnership.
Later on, while speaking with the media, Bangladesh Foreign Minister Ali said, “We had a very constructive discussion on varieties of issues, particularly [regarding] cooperation in trade, investment, maritime [capabilities] and ... the proposed tri-nation railway link.”
Foreign Minister Ali is now in Bangkok on a 2-day visit to Thailand at the invitation of his Thai counterpart to inaugurate the Bangabandhu Chair at the country's leading technology institute Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) in Bangkok.
Nasrul Hamid, state minister for power, energy and mineral resources; Sheikh Hafizur Rahman, member secretary of Bangabandhu Trust; Mahbub Uz Zaman, secretary (Asia and Pacific) of foreign ministry; Saida Muna Tasneem, Bangladesh ambassador in Thailand; senior officials from the Prime Minister's Office; and high officials from both the countries were present.