BANGKOK, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- Thailand urged Japan on Thursday to join hands in a major industrial development scheme in Myanmar' s Dawei area.
In a press conference at Government House here, Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said Japan is being welcomed to join Thailand and Myanmar to develop the Dawei industrial zone and deep- sea port projects, currently being built by Italian-Thai Development Co.
The Thai lady prime minister was speaking in the presence of visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who agreed that the Thai-Japanese economic cooperation will be maintained and extended to cover the Southeast Asian region, which includes Myanmar.
"A tripartite cooperation for the development of the Dawei projects should be carried out in prompt fashion," concluded Yingluck.
Abe, who discussed economic issues with Yingluck for about one hour and a half, said Japan is interested in joining Thailand's infrastructure projects.
The massive Dawei projects, which will serve as Myanmar's first special economic zone, includes construction of a deep seaport, buildings for shipyard and maintenance work, establishment of a industrial zone, petrochemical industries, oil refinery, steel plant, power stations and Dawei-Bangkok motor road and railroad and laying of oil pipeline along the motorway and railroad.
"Given the fact that Thailand remains as the gateway to the region, Japan would like to help with infrastructure projects in this country," said the Japanese prime minister.
Meanwhile, Abe voiced belief that Thailand could become leader of the ASEAN bloc in terms of economic development, human resources development and security matters.
Japan and Thailand would cement strategic partnership in terms of strengthened economic and security cooperation and frequent exchange of human resources, as the two countries share "common values" and economic interests, he said.
The economic cooperation will be enhanced and promoted at both bilateral and regional levels as the overall situation in the ASEAN community has strategically changed, he added.
In her speech, Yingluck said that both countries will continue on with their economic relationships under the Japan-Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement.
Abe, who came here from Hanoi, is scheduled to proceed to Jakarta on Friday to finish his first ASEAN tour.