Arroyo, Thai PM Renew Pledges for Stronger Relations
Maglalang, Ferdie J., Manila Bulletin
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and visiting Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra renewed yesterday their pledges to strengthen their countries' bilateral and multilateral relations that have already spanned half a century.
In a joint press statement read in a simple ceremony in Malacanang, the two leaders agreed to embark on joint cooperative programs designed to give a much-needed boost to the two countries' trade and tourism industry.
They also agreed to contribute to the United States-led fight against global terrorism, and provide ways to promote and ensure stability and progress in the whole of Southeast Asia.
"Our countries are old friends. Our countries have many commonalities in natural and economic endowments. I believe that our old friendship and our commonalities will help the Prime Minister and me in our desire to cooperate in the new challenges that face our region," President Arroyo said.
Prime Minister Thaksin described his talk with the President as "very frank and fruitful," citing the international accord signed between the two governments during his two-day visit in Manila.
"We share the view that our two countries have vast potentials, even closer cooperation. We agreed in principle that the two sides need to give long of our struggles to two-way trips," he said.
The two leaders expressed optimism that another bilateral agreement will soon be signed allowing a joint advertising effort in promotion and development of the two countries' tourism industry.
The advertising promotions on the two countries' tourism industry was dubbed "Amazing Thailand, Wow Philippines" which, it is hoped, will attract common exchange of local and foreign tourists.
The promotion of local tourism industry in most Asian countries is seen as a "saving grace" that could help lift up the dwindling economies that have been adversely affected by the 1997 economic slump. …