Thailand ’s Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is making a two-day state-level visit to India with the aim of stepping up bilateral cooperation in economy, trade, security, and national defence.

Speaking at a press briefing held on April 5, the day he arrived in New Delhi , PM Abhisit said political instability and economic downturn in Thailand will not affect the two countries’ relations.

Stressing on the two countries’ potentials for tourism cooperation, the Thai leader called on Indian companies to increase their investment in his country’s tourism industry and pledged to create favourable conditions for them.

According to Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma, the two countries are negotiating intensively their free trade agreement and plan to sign it by the end of this year.

In 2010, India and Thailand traded goods worth 6.6 billion USD, a rise of 34 percent over 2009. India businesspeople have invested 15 billion USD in steel, IT, chemical and healthcare projects in Thailand .

India and Thailand launched joint naval drills and sea patrols and will continue stepping up their cooperation in fighting pirates and dealing with global climate change and natural disasters./.