Top Stories : Minister of Foreign Affairs attended  the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing, People’s Republic of China news3

Top Stories : Minister of Foreign Affairs attended the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing, People’s Republic of China

        H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, together with H.E. Mr. Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, Minister of Transportation, H.E. Mrs. Apiradi Tantraporn, Minister of Commerce, H.E. Mr. Pichet Durongkaveroj, Minister of Digital for Economy and Society and H.E. Mrs. Atchaka Sibunruang, Minister of Science and Technology attended the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) hosted by the People’s Republic of China in Beijing on 14 May 2017.

        Representatives from 110 countries attended the Forum, among which were 28 leaders, approximately 400 ministerial – level representatives, and heads of key international organizations such as the United Nations, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization and the International Monetary Fund.

        The meeting exchanged views and discussed ways and means to further develop the BRI through the building of a win – win cooperation. President Xi Jinping emphasized the principles for the BRI which are to build peace, prosperity through open and inclusive processes bringing closer people-to-people connectivity. The BRI aims to foster political trust, synchronize cooperation mechanisms, and build consensus particularly on connectivity. China intends to synergize the BRI with specific needs of countries in Asia, Europe and Africa and to ensure that the Initiative complement their strengths. Hence, the BRI is not solely a Chinese initiative but rather a common initiative crafted by the global community. In this regard, China has also pledged to contribute additional RMB 100 million to the Silk Road Fund.

          The meeting expressed their support to the BRI and placed emphasis on multidimensional connectivity including political, economic, infrastructures and innovation. It was concurred that the prerequisite in achieving the BRI’s goals is the development of infrastructures for deeper integration. The Initiative is also to complement and enhance the 2030 Agendas for Sustainable Development Goals. Many speakers advocated free trade, the lifting of non-trade barrier and supported multilateralism. Also voiced were concerns over unilateralism, protectionism and the rise of nationalism. The meeting agreed that the BRI would serve as a positive catalyst for global sustainable development.

          The Minister of Foreign Affairs participated in the Connectivity of Development Policies and Strategies thematic panel discussion at the BRF. He supported the Initiative and commended China’s success in such a short time. The Initiative thus deserves support from the international community to achieve win-win cooperation. The Minister of Foreign Affairs pointed out Thailand’s key policies and agendas which complement the BRI such as the Eastern Economic Corridor and other sub-regional economic corridors which could be linked to the China-Indochina Economic Corridor. Also highlighted were policies on Thailand 4.0, Human Resources Development through innovation and Digital Economy. The Minister further announced that as an ACMECS chair next year, Thailand is poised to launch ACMECS Master Plan on Connectivity and is willing to bridge Southeast Asia and the BRI.

          The Minister of Foreign Affairs also had a bilateral meeting with H.E. Mr. Wang Yi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of China. They exchanged views on various issues of common interest including the Thai Prime Minister’s acceptance to attend the BRICS Summit in September 2017.