TODAY -

'Soft connectivity' key to India-ASEAN ties: Thai envoy
Source: The Sangai Express / IANS

New Delhi, January 22 2018: As New Delhi continues to push for better connectivity with Southeast Asia through the North East under its Act East Policy, Thailand's Ambassador to India Chutintorn Gongsakdi has said that "soft connectivity" is the key to India-ASEAN ties.

Commenting on the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway, for which work is under way, Chutintorn said that construction on the Thailand side has been completed and "we are waiting for India to finish road construction in Myanmar.

"But what is more important is that when the road is finished, we have to be prepared on the customs, immigration and quarantine aspects because we cannot have roads and then people getting stuck at the border," he told IANS in an exclusive interview on the sidelines of a Thai food festival in the capital.

"So, we are interested in what we call the 'soft connectivity', the software for the people, the rules and regulations.

Now we are negotiating the motor vehicle agreement." According to the Indian External Affairs Ministry, the highway connecting Moreh in the North Eastern State of Manipur with Mae Sot in Thailand is set to be completed in 2019.Explaining why customs, immigration and quarantine comprise the difficult part of connectivity, Chutintorn said: "When we had a road going up to China through Laos, at one of the summits, the Prime Minister of Laos said that it cannot be that it takes five hours to get from one country to the next and then you have another five hours of customs, immigration and quarantine.

So, we have to make sure that this does not happen.

It has to be seamless and smooth." His comments come as New Delhi prepares to host on January 25 a commemorative summit to mark the 25th anniversary of the India-Association of Southeast Nations (ASEAN) Dialogue Partnership and ahead of Thailand taking over from Vietnam later this year as country coordinator for India with the regional bloc.

Thai Prime Minister Prayur Chan-o-cha will be among all 10 ASEAN leaders who will be participating in the January 25 summit before attending the Republic Day celebrations the next day as guests of honour.

The ASEAN comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Asked what would be the priorities for Thailand when it takes over as the country coordinator for India, Chutintorn said that it was too early to say but "at least we know we will continue with ASEAN-India priorities".

"Things like connectivity, maritime security, economic integration and especially connectivity link through the North East," he said.

"But also emphasising on maritime and air connectivity because only one dimension is not enough.

We need air, sea and land." Asked about India-Thailand bilateral economic ties, the Ambassador said: "We can do more because India-ASEAN trade is over $70 billion and with Thailand it is just over $8 billion, which is just over a tenth.

It can be more." In this connection, he stressed on the need to conclude the India-Thailand free trade agreement (FTA) and also Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

The RCEP is a proposed FTA between the 10 ASEAN member States and the six countries with which ASEAN has FTAs - Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.

On the India-Thailand FTA, Chutintorn said: "I think we need to sit down and have a talk about what we can do for each other because there is often the perception mat Thailand is the only one benefiting from the early harvest of our FTA.

This is because we had a surplus every year," Stating that Thailand has no intention of blocking or not entertaining Indian service trade, he said that there is also a benefit to be had from India opening up to Thai products and services.

"We believe that a good agreement is one where we both can gain," the Ambassador stated.

On Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal's proposal for ASEAN countries open consulates in Guwahati, Chutintorn said that it is not feasible at the moment.

"To be honest, we are not rich countries and to do that, it's not a political act, it's also an economic act," he said.

"To open an embassy or consulate general is a big financial commitment." Chutintorn said the problem with India's North Eastern region for industries to be located is that the size of the population of the State has to be looked at.

He said what would be most feasible would be for the North East to engage in border trade with Myanmar once the Trilateral Highway is completed.

"In Thailand, we make so much money from border trade with Malaysia, with Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.

That is what is going to make the North East region prosperous.

And also, of course, tourism and agriculture," the Ambassador opined.


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Tarpon Chaklen Katpa @ Andro #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 25 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Lamyanba Irabot Ningsing Tha : Fingerlings
  • Indo-Naga Talks (2012-) :: News Timeline
  • Tripura Fashion Week in Agartala
  • World River Day & our environment
  • Nubank : banking industry in Brazil
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • Opposition parties struggling to dent BJP
  • From High Court to Supreme Court ?
  • Lokchao Bridge @ NH 102 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 24 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • What were Phizo's last words to Khodao?
  • Priyadarshini, Priyanka: Everest Taekwondo
  • I swear :: Poem
  • Incomplete lifting of prohibition
  • Prevention of parasitism in livestock #2
  • Wakhal Eronba- Sumang Leela #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 23 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Arbin Tonjam: best designer - Miss Manipur
  • Lamyanba Irabot Ningsing Tha at Ithing
  • Ferry to Ganges :: Poem
  • Making public health messaging entertaining
  • Student schooling order exposes fault...
  • Discipline : The common thread
  • Camping @ Shirui Lily Fest #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 22 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Youth : An idea can change the world
  • Perceived class conflict triggers friction ...
  • The tale of a forgotten diary
  • Face Redness- How to get rid of it
  • CADA - Govt on collision course
  • Inching towards a final pact ?
  • Border Pillar Inspection @Kamjong :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 21 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Strange bed fellows attempting to cohabit
  • Training for entrepreneur in Food Processing
  • Recalling Alzheimer once again !
  • New Education Policy : The CUET rigmarole
  • Liquor for better health! Indigestible
  • Now focus on ST demand
  • Byron Aihara - A True Lover of Manipur
  • International Day of Peace 2022
  • Human Capital Formation, need of the hour
  • Prevention is better than cure !!
  • Prevention of parasitism in livestock #1
  • Security Conference at Tamenglong
  • Concrete action must follow 'CM Da Haisi'
  • Tag of a dry State for the last 30 years
  • Pungyam Yeiba Fest @Singjamei :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 19 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • National Bamboo Innovation Challenge
  • International Day of Peace & environment
  • Lamyanba Irabot Ningsing Tha: Social Service
  • World Bamboo Day celebrated
  • Domestic capitalists unwilling to trust & invest
  • Street food vogue boon for youth
  • Sit-ins demanding inclusion in ST list
  • Down Memory Lane: My Years with MSAD #3
  • COVID-19 Status 18 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Licypriya to attend UN General Assembly
  • Screenwriters invited to 6-month screenlab
  • An ideal civil servant
  • Tripura Fashion Week in Agartala
  • Opposition parties struggling to dent BJP
  • Taking the customer for granted
  • Miss Manipur 2022 #2 :: Gallery
  • Irabot Ningsing Tha : Jagoi Competition
  • Bringing drug users to mainstream society
  • Namo Birthday special: India matters globally
  • Criticizes village occupation in Ukhrul
  • Use of local agri wastes as substrate
  • Jiribam Keithel [15 June] #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 16 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Boeing University Innovation Leadership
  • ST status demands in India #1
  • Literacy enhancement as a career choice
  • Agniveer recruitment rally at Assam
  • Ignoring the perfect solution to everything
  • Eyeing to end insurgency in next 5 years
  • Laklaroi Amuk Hanna Yeningtha #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 15 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Manipuri Muslim (Pangal) Historical Society
  • 7th election: NE Student Org, Jalandhar
  • Macnivil releases new song: Price they'll pay
  • Youth advocating for sexual health & rights
  • Engineers : The backbone of any Nation
  • IBSD celebrated Hindi Diwas
  • Who is at fault for shrinking roads?
  • After 25 years of negotiations
  • Heikru Hidongba @Bijoy Govinda #2: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 14 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Joint Accordant by NSCN/GPRN & NNPGs
  • In search of Khubak Ishei
  • Lamyanba Irabot Ningsing Tha at Bishnupur
  • Beauty benefits of Amla
  • STDCM sets sight on bandh to draw Govt
  • The unplanned city of Imphal Concrete jungle
  • Down Memory Lane: My Years with MSAD #2
  • COVID-19 Status 13 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Constitution & flag still dogs settlement
  • Churachandpur - The chaos and mess !
  • Rice Afrika is using tech to increase rice
  • Voluntary Blood Donation: An act of solidarity
  • Nagaland desperate for solution to Naga issue
  • Final solution likely very soon: Note key word
  • Miss Manipur 2022 #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 12 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Is there a need for another Nupi Lan ?
  • Consultation: Development at Lairouching
  • Bullying : Losing of children's dignity
  • Social Entrepreneur, social currency they earn
  • AMSU in dire need of support of CSOs
  • Mum on the points of JCILPS, STDCM
  • 57th Hunger Marchers' Day #3 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 11 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • 1st Anniv: The Keithel Store Pune :: Gallery
  • Beyond Teachers' Day
  • On farm production of Mycorrhizae
  • Onam and the legend behind it
  • COVID-19 Status 10 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Fake voters testify official nepotism
  • From 1999 to 2022 : TSE is now 23
  • Yaoshang Thabal Competition #3 :: Gallery
  • Kholao Deben went with the Queen
  • Imaginary grudge severs human relations
  • A Phenomenally Him :: Poem
  • Bharat Jodo Yatra: Last ditch effort...
  • Special Lok Adalat for Imphal & Bishnupur
  • Pineapple Fest @Bunglon, CCpur :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 09 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Tarpon: Annual offerings to the dead by living
  • Book review: Aeromycology over Kachai lemon
  • On saying Hello
  • Himalayan Day celebrated at IBSD, Imphal
  • Get rid of strawberry legs at home
  • Manipuri driver primary source of 'Loyalty tax'
  • The 'tax-extortion' argument
  • Down Memory Lane: My Years with MSAD #1
  • COVID-19 Status 08 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • [Jobs] Biotechnology ignition grant for NE
  • 1st Anniversary of The Keithel Store Pune
  • International Literacy Day & our Environment
  • 1 Lakh Hand Sanitizer Bottles handed over
  • Pinning hope on Sangai fest to draw tourists
  • Points to study from Mizoram
  • Heikru Hidongba @Bijoy Govinda #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 07 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Schedule Tribe Demand, Recent cries
  • Intricacies of core issue in Naga insurgency
  • On Poiroukhongjin High School issue
  • Celebrating International Literacy Day, 2022
  • Condemn physical assault on women vendor
  • Scoundrel official undermining essence of ILP
  • Is the ban on SUP effective ?
  • Ayekpam Shyamsunder's life & works
  • Book release: 'Osman Thambal' at Imphal
  • World Sexual Health Day celebrated in NE
  • Manipur Tech Univ: top at India Hackathon
  • Insomnia :: Poem
  • Change - Inside Out!
  • Biological control in agriculture #2
  • Nearest-to-home posting of teachers policy
  • Addressing shortage of teachers
  • Ibudhou Thangjing Haraoba #6 :: Gallery
  • Ancient Manipur kingdom and Brahmanism
  • Teachers' role in multicultural North East
  • Regarding closing 34 Assam govt schools
  • mPharma is revolutioning access to medicine
  • Asking to believe as we receive
  • 10 years of TPC: Success collectively shared
  • Significance of observing Teachers' Day
  • Krishna Janma @ ISKCON :: Gallery
  • Growing support globally to end HIV medicine
  • Teachers' Day & My Rumbling Thoughts
  • Soibam Bindeshori : Indian Prime Icon Award
  • Can't public figures drink & dance
  • Climate emergency
  • Jumping ship trademark of state's politicians
  • Switching side from JD (U) to BJP
  • Sit-in for Meetei ST @ Kongba :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 03 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Humanitarian aid to Meira Paibis leaders
  • Down the memory lane :: Poem
  • A moment of introspection
  • Ganesh collection
  • Addl Director General, NCC homage at INA
  • Meira Rally against Drug Traffic #2 :: Gallery
  • September Calendar for Year 2022 : Tools
  • Haipou Jadonnang in History #2
  • Krishna, soul of Indian classical dance
  • Biological control in agriculture #1
  • Additional Director General, NCC, NE
  • Senapati farmers commit to curb poppy
  • School Fagathansi & shortage of teachers
  • 57th Hunger Marchers' Day #2 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 01 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Is NSCN-IM looking for a way to exit...
  • Delhi Youtuber honoured by Nagaland Govt
  • Multistoried cropping system for North East
  • Herbal remedies for sun-tan in monsoon
  • Agniveer Recruitment Rally for Manipur
  • Improve irrigation network
  • Pending final pact, ST demand, prohibition
  • Reception of Linthoi Chanambam :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 31 August : Govt of Manipur
  • Applications from sportspersons for awards
  • Faith in the Lord: The evidence of things
  • Aadhaar link with Voter ID should be optional
  • Session with Jail Officials & Inmate at Sajiwa
  • Scam related to job & educational opportunity
  • Widening list of drug dealers
  • Understanding the idea of CUET
  • Jiribam Train station [15 Jun] :: Gallery
  • Haipou Jadonang martyr day at Jiribam
  • How citizens evaluate performance of MLA
  • Daslakshan Festival
  • All you needed was a little more courage
  • National Sports Day in Tamenglong
  • Bid to promote state's largest cottage industry
  • On lending support and entrepreneurship
  • Haipou Jadonang - Martyr Day :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 29 August : Govt of Manipur
  • Linthoi and Manipur Olympics
  • African Swine Fever: emerging viral disease
  • Constitution gi makhada ST nattana leitey
  • CSOs indispensible in fractious Manipur
  • NNPGs & NSCN-IM vis-a-vis Naga solution
  • Meira Rally against Drug Traffic #1 :: Gallery
  • Linthoi Ch: gold at World Cadet Judo
  • Patriots' Day @Thangal Complex :: Gallery
  • Jhulon Festival: Nupee Pala #2 :: Gallery
  • 13 August observed by CSOs :: Gallery
  • Mirabai Chanu: gold @ Commonwealth Game
  • Rules of English Pronunciation : Download
  • Sub-Syllables in English : Book Download