ISLAMABAD: Senate Acting Chairman Senator Saleem Mandviwalla Thursday underlined the need to create awareness about the ancient Buddhist civilization in the northern part of the country among the people of Thailand so that cultural exchanges between the two countries can receive a boost along with people to people contact.

He expressed these views during a meeting with the recently appointed Ambassador Pornpop Uampidhaya who called him here. The meeting was also attended by Chairperson of Pakistan Thailand Parliamentary Friendship Group Senator Quarat-ul-Ain Marri and Senator Sitara Ayaz.

He observed that there is a need and potential of enhancing trade in all major sectors including agriculture and food processing and Pakistan has a lot to learn from the Thai experience.

He also called for promoting tourism in collaboration with Thai airline, hotel chains and other leading companies and businesses.

The ambassador informed that both countries are in the process of reaching consensus on the Free Trade Agreement between Thailand and Pakistan which is due to be finalized next year.

Mandviwalla expressed the hope that the FTA will be a balanced opportunity for both countries and help trade on both sides.

Both sides agreed on making Parliamentary exchanges a regular feature and making parliamentary groups functional in both Parliaments.

The ambassador apprised that Thailand's general elections are due early next year and the relationship between the two governments and Parliaments will be on priority when the new Parliament and government will sworn in.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2018