25 Mar 2013

Thai government denies PM's PNG visit linked to bid for gas deal

3:44 pm on 25 March 2013

Thailand's government has denied that the Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's visit to Papua New Guinea is a bid to secure a natural gas deal.

Ms Yingluck is on a two day visit to PNG which ends tonight.

The Bangkok Post reports the Thai Energy Minister Pongsak Raktapongpaisal as denying opposition claims that the Prime Minister's visit is to follow up business plans her brother, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, discussed there in 2006.

Thaksin had held trade negotiations with the PNG government at the time, however there has not been a gas deal with PNG since then.

Mr Pongsak says Ms Yingluck is in the country only to develop diplomatic relations with PNG and that her trip has nothing to do with the activities of the energy business delegation accompanying her.