The Ambassador-Designate of the Kingdom of Thailand to Solomon Islands, His Excellency Bandhit Sotipalalit, presented his credentials to the Governor General, His Excellency Sir Nathaniel Waena, in Honiara today.

Sir Nathaniel said Solomon Islands is a nation which has a lot to offer to its diplomatic partners as well as having a lot to gain from its partners.

"Since May of 1986, our two countries have enjoyed a continuous cordial relationship. I believe that by committing to a more proactive bilateral approach, both countries will experience remarkable advancements in various development fronts, bringing our existing relations to new heights," Sir Nathaniel said.

Sir Nathaniel said that Solomon Islands has a "look North" foreign Policy, which is aimed at not only strengthening our diplomatic and trade relations with countries in South East Asia and Asia at large, but also maximizing the opportunities and benefits that we can derive from these relations.

He said Solomon Islands places a lot of importance to South-South Cooperation - working closely with other sister developing countries that have similar development challenges and learning from their experiences.

"We are embarking on concluding bilateral technical cooperation agreements with a number of developing countries and would be keen to explore similar bilateral technical cooperation arrangements with Thailand on a number of sectors including Agriculture, Tourism, Education, and Health, for mutual benefit of our two countries and peoples," Sir Nathaniel said.

Sir Nathaniel gave his assurance that Solomon Islands will continue to cooperate with the Kingdom of Thailand to further enhance and consolidate the existing cordial relationship between the two countries.

Ambassador Sotipalalit said that with the support of the Solomon Islands Government, he will never fail to promote the friendship and close ties with Solomon Islands.

He said that Thailand became a dialogue partner of the Pacific Islands Forum in 2004 and has attended the Post Forum dialogue since 2005 with the sole aim of promoting closer relationship and recognition of the importance of enhancing relations with countries in the Pacific region.

"In 2006, Thailand and Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat agreed to undertake and Action Plan to strengthen technical cooperation in four priority areas, namely, agriculture, tourism, education and healthcare to promote economic linkages and to explore new areas of cooperation between Thailand and the Pacific Islands Forum," the Ambassador said.

Ambassador Sotipalalit said that with the support of the Government of Solomon Islands, Thailand hopes that cooperation between Thailand and member countries of the Pacific Islands Forum will become closer bilaterally and region-wide.