CHIANG MAI – Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her counterpart Thongsing Thammavong witnessed the signing of a draft agreement involving the fourth Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge and a memorandum of understanding on agriculture at the closing of the two-day meeting.Thailand and close neighbour Laos yesterday ended their second joint cabinet retreat in Chiang Mai by agreeing to boost cooperation in economics and transportation.
The agreement covered the use, administration and maintenance of the bridge linking Chiang Rai’s Chiang Kong district with Boe Kaew’s Huay Xai in Laos that is expected to open to the public this year.
Yingluck told a press con-ference that the meeting endorsed a proposal to improve border transportation rules to facilitate travel between the two peoples.
Her government would encourage the private sector to invest in projects around Route 8 in Laos.
The Thai side asked Laos to speed up its high-speed train project, saying it was ready to help Laos talk with China.
The two countries would crack down not only on the drug trade by setting up more checkpoints and promoting the farming of substitute crops, but also on human trafficking and trans-border crime.
Thongsing said the meeting did its best to find ways to promote friendship and cooperation, particularly among people. Roads would be built and red tape reduced to increase travel.
Both governments would join in the development of border areas to promote trade.
They would also tackle the problem of illegal migrant workers, he said, adding that his government would like to see the registration of Laotian workers in Thailand.