BANGKOK, Feb 27 — The first official visit of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to Thailand has opened a new perspective to bilateral relations and foster stronger strategic cooperation between Putrajaya and Bangkok.

His maiden visit to Thailand after being appointed as the ninth Prime Minister in August, is seen as bringing benefits to the people in both countries.

As two close neighbouring countries, Ismail Sabri said the government of Malaysia and Thailand have always ensure strong and cordial relation is maintained for the mutual interests of both countries.

“My first official visit to Thailand has proven the commitment of the two countries in boosting bilateral ties and bolstering cooperation in various fields especially in the Covid-19 recovery phase.

“My discussion with Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha also touched on Malaysia-Thai cooperation in various fields such as trade and investment, agriculture, education and manpower apart from continuing to explore new areas of cooperation,” he said in a media conference with Malaysian journalists here on Saturday, the last day of the three-day official visit to Thailand.

The Prime Minister believed the matters discussed at the meeting with his counterpart would benefit the people in both countries and contribute to the strengthening of Malaysia-Thailand bilateral ties.

Malaysia and Thailand have established diplomatic ties for 65 years since Malaysia achieved independence in 1957.

Ismail Sabri arrived in Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday at the invitation of Prayuth.

The visit is also part of his familiarisation tour to South-east Asian countries since his appointment as Prime Minister in August 2021.

He said Malaysia and Thailand also want the trade value between the two countries to soar to US$30 billion (RM126 billion) by 2025.

Thailand is the sixth largest trading partner of Malaysia in the world and the second largest in Asean while Malaysia has remained Thailand’s fourth largest trading partner in the world.

The official visit also saw Malaysia and Thailand agreeing in principle to implement air, land and sea Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) apart from agreeing to recognise each other’s Covid-19 vaccination certificates namely MySejahtera and Mor Phrom.

Malaysia and Thailand also concurred in exploring cooperation opportunities in the study and research of Covid-19 vaccine as well as other vaccines.

Apart from that, Malaysia and Thailand also agreed to carry out a feasibility study on a high speed rail (HSR) route between Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok.

In their meeting, both leaders also discussed various issues of mutual interests involving the region and at international level. — Bernama