Lauds BCG on eve of Buddhism summit
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Wednesday welcomed Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Dinesh Gunawardena on his official visit to the kingdom and congratulated the country for its speedy economic recovery, said government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri.
Mr Gunawardena met Gen Prayut at the Thai Khu Fah Building at Government House and will attend the 18th United International Vesak Day summit today. Vesak, or Visakha Bucha Day, falls on Saturday.
More than 3,500 monks from 50 countries will participate in the event being jointly organised by Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University (MCU), the Supreme Sangha Council, and the government.
Mr Anucha said regular collaboration between Thailand and Sri Lanka on Vesak Day reflects the close relations between the two countries that have been connected by Buddhism for over 700 years.
Gen Prayut also congratulated Sri Lanka on its economic recovery and expressed Thailand’s willingness to provide further assistance should there be a request from Sri Lanka.
He also thanked his guest for approving the return of “Plai Saksurin”, a male elephant bestowed to the government of Sri Lanka by its Thai counterpart some 21 years ago, for treatment.
Mr Gunawardena said he hoped the two countries would cooperate in developing their human resources and promote exchanges and visits at all levels.
The Sri Lankan leader also relayed his appreciation for Thailand’s help and commended its economic potential.
Sri Lanka would also like to enhance cooperation and learn more about good practices in food security, he said.
He also said Thailand is being adopted as a model case study for Sri Lanka, especially in areas related to the bio-circular-green (BCG) economy model.
Mr Anucha said both prime ministers were pleased with the progress being made on the Thailand-Sri Lanka FTA talks, with a final deadline of early 2024 targeted.
Mr Gunawardena also urged the private sector to invest in its Port City of Colombo and other projects.
Mr Anucha said Gen Prayut was confident Thailand’s expertise in tourism and the service sector and retail would be greatly beneficial to that.
Gen Prayut confirmed Thailand’s commitment to cooperating with Sri Lanka as a development partner.