Phetchaburi – Leaders of Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia on Saturday agreed to step up closer tourism cooperation under the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle in a campaign to be launched this year.
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva also urged his two counterparts, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia and Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi, to further cooperate in energy to strengthen regional security in the longer term.
The three leaders held talks on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Cha-am district of Phetchaburi.
PM’s Office Minister Virachai Virameteekul said after the fourth IMT-GT meeting, chaired by the Indonesian president, that the new tourism campaign for the sub-region would be officially launched in Sumatra Island in coming months as a joint effort between the three countries.
The private sector would be encouraged to take leading role to promote tourism opportunity in the sub-region including medical tourism, he said.
Mr Abhisit has expressed his opinion that tourism would be the key for IMT-GT members to get through the current global economic crisis.
Besides, the premier called on Indonesia to develop cooperation on liquefied natural gas. With Malaysia, Thailand proposed joint development of the energy land bridge which is a part of Thailand’s long-delayed Southern Seaboard project.
The southern seaboard has been suggested to be develop in line with Malaysia’s northern and eastern regional development plan.