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Singapore, Thailand enjoy excellent relations: Singaporean FM
Updated: 2005-08-01 19:48

Singapore and Thailand have been enjoying excellent relations in various aspects since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries 40 years ago, Singaporean Foreign Minister George Yeo said here on Monday.

Speaking at the opening of the seventh Coordinating Meeting of the Thailand-Singapore Civil Service Exchange Program (CSEP), Yeo said that the two sides "share common goals in the integration of the region and in opening their economies to new opportunities" under the framework of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

"At the regional level, we work together to spur intra-ASEAN cooperation... Our cooperation auger well for our two countries and the region as a whole," Yeo noted.

The bilateral trade between the two countries increased by 20 percent, reaching 24 billion Singapore dollars (about 14 billion US dollars) last year as compared with the previous year, which made Thailand Singapore's seventh largest trading partner in 2004.

Yeo also said that the fast-developing low cost carriers in the region has helped boost interaction between peoples of the two countries as well as enhance the understanding and respect for each other's cultures and societies.

Describing globalization as both challenge and opportunity, Yeo stressed that Singapore and Thailand should ride the wave generated by the rapid growth of China and India, and respond intelligently to the changing international environment.

Started in 1997, CSEP provides a platform for the civil services of the two countries to exchange personnel and experience on a regular basis, especially in the education sector.

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