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Thai PM To Visit New Zealand Later This Week

Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is scheduled to arrive in New Zealand on March 22 on a three-day visit, said a press release issued by New Zealand Prime Minister John Key on Monday.

Welcoming the Thai PM's upcoming visit, Key noted in the press release that it would be Shinawatra's first visit to New Zealand after taking office in August 2011. Describing the relations between the two nations as "close and warm," Key said his Thai counterpart's forthcoming visit "underscores those close ties and looks towards new areas of cooperation."

"Our two countries have common views on many issues and I look forward to having constructive discussions with Prime Minister Yingluck," Key said.

Key noted in the press statement that New Zealand and Thailand have shared interests in political, security, economic, education, science and technology and development issues. He said the bilateral partnership is maintained through regular high-level political exchanges, and through strong people-to-people links bolstered by strong Thai interest in New Zealand's educational opportunities.

The two countries have a strong trade relationship, with goods trade doubling since the New Zealand-Thailand Closer Economic Partnership Agreement was brought into force in 2005, the statement said.

"I look forward to discussing with Prime Minister Yingluck opportunities to build on this. We welcome the inclusion of a number of Thai business leaders in the visit delegation and hope that their time in New Zealand will contribute to increased business linkages between Thailand and New Zealand," Key said.

After her arrival in Auckland on Friday, Shinawatra is scheduled to attend a business luncheon before meeting with her New Zealand counterpart for bilateral talks and an official dinner. During her visit, the Thai premier will also have an opportunity to see New Zealand's quality dairy systems, the press release added.

by RTT Staff Writer

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