Top Stories : Prime Minister of Thailand Attended 12th ASEM Summit (ASEM12) and the EU - ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting news3

Top Stories : Prime Minister of Thailand Attended 12th ASEM Summit (ASEM12) and the EU - ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting

          From 18-19 October 2018, H.E. General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, together with H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs, led a delegation to attend the 12th ASEM Summit (ASEM12) in Brussels, Belgium. The meeting was hosted by the European Union under the theme “Global Partners for Global Challenges.”

          During the first Plenary meeting under the theme “Building the Future Together: Promoting Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Connectivity”, the Prime Minister delivered his remarks emphasising the importance of a sustainable partnership between Asia and Europe in order to address challenges and press for inclusive growth through three proposals as follows:

          1. To promote connectivity for sustainable development, building on Thailand’s previous proposal from the 11th ASEM Summit in Mongolia in 2016. The Prime Minister pledged to convene a high-level meeting on maritime sustainability in 2019 as a follow up to the reform of the Thai fishery sector, cementing Thailand’s leading role in championing the sustainable use of marine resources in the international arena.

          2. To build seamless connectivity, with special emphasis on seamless infrastructure and logistics, to promote human resources development as well as to enable transfer of science, technology and innovation so that every country can progress together without leaving anyone behind.

          3. To serve as a bridge connecting Europe and Asia. As the incoming Chair of ASEAN, Thailand would strive to align the ACMECS Master Plan and the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity with the EU’s strategy for connecting Europe and Asia for the security, prosperity and sustainability of both regions.    

          During the Retreat session, the Prime Minister exchanged views with other leaders on global issues. He stressed the importance of strengthening cooperation and interactions between Asia and Europe, on the basis of multilateralism and a rules-based international order, to address common challenges on regional and global levels. He noted that, for multilateralism to work, it must rest on the principle of the “3Ms”, namely, mutual confidence, mutual respect, and mutual interests. The Prime Minister opined that there was a need to develop international rules that keep pace with the transition to a digital economy and pledged to host an ASEM seminar on enhancing human capital for sustainable digital connectivity next year.

          Following the 12th ASEM Summit, the Prime Minister attended the EU-ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting in Thailand’s capacity as the incoming ASEAN Chair. His remarks reflected the natural partnership between ASEAN and the EU and the shared belief in regionalism and multilateralism. Moreover, the ASEAN-EU cooperation towards a strategic partnership in the future will help generate a people-centred Strategic New Equilibrium. The Prime Minister also stressed the importance of strengthening cooperation on connectivity, sustainable development as well as trade, investment and the transition to the digital economy. The ASEAN and the EU Leaders agreed to further strengthen cooperation in security, climate change and prepare for new developments and challenges from the Fourth Industrial Revolution, disruptive technologies, and an ageing society, etc. The Leaders also exchanged views on important international and regional issues, such as the situation in Rakhine State.

          On this occasion, the Prime Minister had 8 bilateral meetings with leaders from the Netherlands, Norway, Belgium, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Estonia, Italy and South Korea, where he stressed the need to be forward looking and to mutually strengthen the dynamism of the relations, particularly in the area of economic cooperation through the resumption of the FTA negotiations between Thailand and the EU. The Prime Minister also took the opportunity to invite European businesses to invest in the EEC and to foster development partnerships between both regions. He also provided updates on the political development in Thailand which was proceeding according to the Roadmap to return to a sustainable democracy next year.

          H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, also had a bilateral meeting with H.E. Mr. Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary. Both sides discussed on how to strengthen economic cooperation. The Foreign Minister invited Hungarian businesses to invest in the EEC and to foster closer collaboration on science, technology and innovation in areas that Hungary specialises in such as water management and agriculture. Both sides also exchanged views on regional issues.

          On the margins of ASEM 12, the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) also hosted the 3rd ASEF Young Leaders Summit between 15 - 19 October 2018 in Brussels. Thailand was represented by Mr. Phurit Bovornchutichai, a Ph.D. student in Healthcare Innovation at University of Oxford, and Police Captain Chiawchan Chodhirat, an investigation officer of the Royal Thai Police. The Prime Minister met with the two representatives on 18 October 2018.