Thailand boosts ties with Italy, eyes Schengen visa waiver

Image courtesy of Royal Thai Government

Thailand and Italy have committed to enhance bilateral cooperation across various sectors, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin announced following his official visit to Italy, describing his discussions with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni as highly productive.

Thailand’s prospects for obtaining a Schengen visa waiver for its ordinary passport holders have significantly improved. Meloni pledged her support for Thailand’s proposal, bolstering the country’s chances of securing approval from other Schengen states.

Italy, holding the rotating presidency of the Group of Seven leading industrial nations (G7), plays a crucial role in facilitating these negotiations.

Additionally, Meloni expressed her backing for Thailand’s efforts to establish a free trade agreement (FTA) with Italy. Both nations have also agreed to collaborate on expanding their fashion and design industries.

In the realm of clean energy, Italy showed keen interest in Thailand’s plans to explore new natural gas sources within the Thai-Cambodian overlapping claims areas, marking a significant step in advancing Thailand’s clean energy initiatives.

Italy proposed that Thailand supply more seasonal workers to assist in Italy’s agricultural sector during harvest seasons. This aligns with Thailand’s broader goal of providing its workers with high-paying job opportunities abroad.

Investment opportunities were another focal point of the discussions, particularly concerning Italian investment in Thailand’s Land Bridge megaproject and airport expansion plans. Italy’s expertise in these areas could not be understated.

The Italian PM suggested both nations work towards signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to formalise their expanded cooperation in the agreed areas. Further discussions on defence industry collaboration will be pursued by the Thai military attaché to Italy.

Direct flights between Bangkok and Milan are set to take off on July 1, with flights between Bangkok and Rome expected to launch during the winter months, facilitating increased connectivity between the two nations.

The Bangkok-born PM is on an official tour of France, Italy, and Japan from May 15 to 24. His upcoming travel plans for the third and fourth quarters of this year include visits to India, Africa, and Turkey, reported Bangkok Post.

Economy NewsThailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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