Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha to visit PH (Philippines Daily Inquirer)

Thailand Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will visit the Philippines for the first time since he assumed office August last year.

In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) expressed hope that Prayut’s two-day state visit, which starts Thursday, will focus on talks tackling matters of mutual concern between the Philippines and Thailand such as agriculture, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), defense, education, law enforcement, security, trade and investments, technical cooperation, and tourism, among other issues.

This visit hopes to deepen the Philippines’ partnership with Thailand, a fellow founding member of Asean and a long-time friend, the DFA said.

Prayut’s visit in the country also aims to seek ways where Thailand and Philippines can work together towards mutual prosperity and contribute to further strengthen Asean’s post-2015 vision.

With a two-way trade amounting to $5.83 billion, Thailand is the country’s eighth largest trading partner in 2014.

DFA said that the two countries enjoy excellent and cordial relations at the bilateral, regional, and multilateral levels.

Prayut, a former commander-in-chief of the Royal Thai Army, took over the reins of the Thai government after launching a coup against the government of former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra in May 2014.

In August, the national legislature chose Prayut as the country’s prime minister.