Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan will arrive in Thailand on Monday (March 28) for a two-day introductory visit at the invitation of his Thai counterpart Don Pramudwinai, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.
During his visit to Bangkok, Dr Balakrishnan will have an audience with Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and call on Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, Deputy Prime Minister in charge of Economic and Foreign Affairs Somkid Jatusripitak, and Privy Councillor General Surayud Chulanont, MFA said on Sunday (March 27).
Dr Balakrishnan and Mr Don will jointly officiate at the opening of the 12th Coordinating Meeting of the Thailand-Singapore Civil Service Exchange Programme (CSEP 12) on Monday, MFA said in its statement. CSEP is an important mechanism for the two civil services to review existing collaboration and explore new areas of cooperation, the ministry said. It encompasses 13 cooperation clusters involving more than 30 agencies from Singapore and Thailand.
The theme of CSEP 12 is “Promoting Cooperation among Civil Service Agencies to Support Asean Connectivity”, MFA said. It will be co-chaired by MFA Permanent Secretary Chee Wee Kiong and his Thai counterpart Apichart Chinwanno.
Dr Balakrishnan visited Australia, China and Indonesia earlier this year, and Malaysia and Brunei last year after taking on his new ministerial portfolio in October.
Thailand last year ranked as Singapore’s ninth largest trading partner with total bilateral trade of S$29.6 billion.
The Bank of Thailand ranked Singapore as the second-largest foreign investor and top Asean investor in Thailand in 2014, and in the first 11 months of 2015.
Singapore’s investments are predominantly in financial and insurance services, manufacturing, and trading.