Top Stories : Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand attended Post-Ministerial Conferences on 3 August 2018 news3

Top Stories : Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand attended Post-Ministerial Conferences on 3 August 2018

On 3 August 2018, H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, attended ASEAN Post Ministerial Conferences with the Republic of India, the Republic of Korea, the Commonwealth of Australia, and the United States of America and co-chaired the Post-Ministerial Conference + 1 session with the European Union (EU).
 
The ASEAN PMC +1 session with India highlighted the importance of cooperation in all dimensions such as regional security, specifically maritime security, as well as Blue Economy and economic cooperation. Both sides placed importance on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations, connectivity between ASEAN - India through economic corridor, the Indian-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway, as well as connectivity by land, air, and sea. The Meeting agreed with Thailand’s proposal to develop sustainable connectivity in the region as well as to place importance on cultural exchanges and tourism promotion with 2019 as the ASEAN - India Tourism Year.
 
At the meeting, Viet Nam handed over the role of Country Coordinator for ASEAN – India Dialogue Relations, from 2018 – 2021, to Thailand. Thailand pledged her readiness to continue on Viet Nam’s success and to work closely with India to strengthen the ASEAN - India relations in all its dimensions.
 
At the ASEAN PMC +1 session with the EU, the Minister of Foreign Affairs was a co-chaired the session with H.E. Ms. Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President of the Commission (HR/VP). The Meeting commended Thailand’s successful coordinatorship during the past three years. Both sides looked forward to the EU - ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting on 19 October 2018 and the 22nd ASEAN – EU Ministerial Meeting (AEMM) in January 2019. Furthermore, the Meeting agreed to promote value of regionalism, multilateralism, support the ASEAN Community building process, focussing  on a people-centred approach, enhance connectivity within the region and with the EU, as well as cooperation on sustainable development.Both sides exchanged views on the resumption of the ASEAN - EU FTA negotiations building on negotiations of bilateral FTAs with the EU, and the launch of ASEAN - EU Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement (CATA) which is currently being negotiated.
 
At this session, Thailand handed over the Country Coordinatorship of ASEAN – EU Dialogue Relations to Singapore. Before the Meeting, HR/VP Mogherini presented the Blue Book 2018 EU - ASEAN Development Cooperation in 2017, to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Singapore as the Chairman of ASEAN and the incoming Country Coordinator for the next three years.
 
The ASEAN PMC +1 session with the Republic of Korea discussed developments in political, security, economic, and social and cultural relations. The Meeting appreciated the New Southern Policy and the 3Ps (People, Prosperity, and Peace) initiated by H.E. Mr. Moon Jae-in, President of the Republic of Korea (ROK), as well as acknowledged the ROK’s intentions to hold a Special Summit to commemorate the 30th anniversary of ASEAN - ROK Dialogue Relations in 2019. At the meeting, the ROK supported ASEAN as a forum for world leaders to discuss a variety of policies and expressed the hope that the New Southern Policy will further strengthen the ASEAN - ROK relations. The Meeting also welcomed positive developments on the Korean Peninsula and supported the dialogue between leaders of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the ROK as well as between the DPRK and the United States that will lead towards peace and stability in the region.
 
The ASEAN PMC+1 session with Australia discussed cooperation on non-traditional security threats, especially countering terrorism and transnational crimes, and reiterated the importance of the conclusion of the RCEP negotiation as well as the utilisation of ASEAN – Australia – New Zealand FTA (AANZFTA) to advance trade and investment. The Meeting also agreed to promote regional connectivity and the granting of scholarships for students and youth exchange which are in accordance with the ASEAN – Australia Plan of Action (2015 – 2019) and the 15 initiatives arising from the ASEAN – Australian Special Summit in March 2018 in Sydney. Thailand highlighted the cooperation on disaster preparedness and sustainable development through the ASEAN Centre on Sustainable Development Studies and Dialogue to be established in Thailand in 2019 and proposed to co-host a workshop on capacity building for ASEAN officials to support the implementation of the ASEAN Convention on Trafficking in Persons especially Women and Children (ACTIP). The Minister of Foreign Affairs also took the opportunity to express appreciation for Australia’s assistance for the Wild Boar Academy Football team rescue operation at Tham Luang, Chiang Rai.
 
The ASEAN PMC +1 session with the United States highlighted the strategic partnership. The Meeting noted that ASEAN-US' total trade value reached 233 billion USD and an investment of over 5.5 billion USD. The Meeting discussed regional security issues such as the South China Sea, the Korean Peninsula, counter terrorism as well as the Indo-Pacific Strategy. The US Secretary of State also briefed the Meeting   on the US' available support of 113 million USD in three areas, namely digital economy, energy, and infrastructure. The US also supported ASEAN Centrality in the regional architecture. The Meeting further explored how to strengthen the economic and digital cooperation between ASEAN and the United States and underscored the importance of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as well as the strengthening of people-to-people ties through the Young South East Asians Initiative (YSEALI) and academic exchanges.
 
The ASEAN PMC+1 session with Canada reiterated the importance of promoting ASEAN – Canada cooperation in all aspects. Canada emphasised its intention to cooperate with ASEAN on sustainable development, promotion of rights of migrant workers, multi-cultural society, and women and children empowerment. Canada also underscored the free, fair, rules-based trade and supported the negotiation of Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) amidst the rise of protectionism and unilateral trade measure, and, therefore, noted with appreciation the possibility of ASEAN-Canada FTA. Meanwhile, ASEAN expressed its appreciation for Canada’s support on human resource development through scholarship of 10 million CAD with the number of recipients currently at 80 recipients. The ASEAN side also supported Canada’s assistance on narrowing development gaps and cooperation on border management and women empowerment with ASEAN Centre on Sustainable Development Studies and Dialogue as a driving mechanism.
 
On 4 August 2018, the Minister of Foreign Affairs will attend the 19th ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, the 8th East Asia Summit (EAS) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, and the 25th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF).