BANGKOK, March 21 (Xinhua) -- Thai premier on Thursday left Bangkok to visit New Zealand and Papua New Guinea during March 21- 25 to strengthen bilateral relations, according to the Thai government's website.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is visiting New Zealand on Thursday through Sunday and Papua New Guinea on Sunday and Monday at the invitation of New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and Prime Minister Peter O'Neill of Papua New Guinea.
Ministers who accompanied Yingluck include Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul, Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom and representatives from the Thai private sector in the fields of energy, green business, medical tourism, construction, education, and food.
Yingluck's official visit to New Zealand is aimed at strengthening bilateral relations on the occasion of the 57th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Thailand and New Zealand.
The Thai premier is set to have a meeting with the New Zealand premier.
The discussion will cover cooperation expansion in the areas of sciences, agricultural and food management, education, labour promotion, tourism and film industry.
On this occasion, Auckland University of Technology (AUT) will confer on Yingluck honorary doctorate degree for her remarkable role as the first elected female Prime Minister of Thailand.
On Sunday and Monday (March 24-25), Yingluck and the delegation will visit Papua New Guinea which will be the first state visit of a Thai premier and a significant implementation of relations with the country in the south pacific islands.
The main objective of the visit is to launch a new market for Thai consumer products and to seek opportunities for infrastructure development investment since Papua New Guinea, though a country rich in natural resources, still lacks investment in the area.
Yingluck will have a bilateral meeting with her counterpart, Prime Minister Peter O'Neill.
The discussion will cover issues on strengthening bilateral relations, development of cooperation in trade and investment, energy, and academics, as well as multilateral cooperation.