Press Release : Permanent Secretary held a discussion with Deputy Minister for Political Affairs and SOM Leader of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea via video conference  news3

Press Release : Permanent Secretary held a discussion with Deputy Minister for Political Affairs and SOM Leader of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea via video conference

On 16 June 2020, Mrs. Busaya Mathelin, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, held a discussion with Mr. Kim Gunn, Deputy Minister for Political Affairs and SOM Leader of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea (ROK), via video conference at the request of the latter side on the occasion of his assumption of duty. The Permanent Secretary congratulated Deputy Minister Kim on his appointment and expressed readiness to working together to promote cooperation between Thailand and the ROK at both bilateral and multilateral frameworks, as well as discussing cooperation on COVID-19 issues. 
 
Both sides exchanged views on the COVID-19 situation in Thailand and the ROK. Deputy Minister Kim praised Thailand for the successful containment of the spread of the pandemic, while the Permanent Secretary commended the ROK for being a successful model in containing the spread of COVID-19, noting that Thailand could learn from the experiences of the ROK in this regard. The Permanent Secretary also expressed appreciation to the ROK for the donation of PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) and face masks to Thailand. Both sides also discussed vaccine research and development as the ROK is home to the International Vaccine Institute (IVI), and the President of the ROK has declared support in making the COVID-19 vaccines global public goods, whereas the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand shares a similar position. 
 
The Permanent Secretary appreciated the ROK’s support in facilitating the return of Thai nationals, including undocumented Thai labour in the ROK. Deputy Minister Kim expressed readiness of the ROK to provide continued support to Thailand on this matter. Furthermore, both sides examined the possibility of the establishment of “Travel Bubbles/Fast Track Lanes” for specific groups of travelers, especially business people.
 
On bilateral cooperation, both sides concurred on the resumption of exchanges of high- level visits once the COVID-19 situation subsides. The Permanent Secretary supported the convening of the 2nd Korea-Thailand Committee for Economic Cooperation (KOTCOM), as agreed upon by the two leaders, to promote cooperation in such areas as investment in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), water resources management, Smart City and seasonal worker programmes. The Permanent Secretary also suggested that both sides should explore new areas of cooperation in the post COVID-19 period, such as prevention of emerging diseases, health and food security as well as digital economy, in which the ROK has expertise. Deputy Minister Kim agreed to discuss these matters with relevant ROK’s authorities. 
 
Both sides also exchanged views on ASEAN-ROK Dialogue relations. The Permanent Secretary thanked the ROK for the assistance package, announced by President Moon Jae-In at the Special ASEAN Plus Three Summit on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) on 14 April 2020 via video conference, which included the support for the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund as well as the pledge to allocate funding from the ASEAN-Korea Cooperation Fund for immediate procurement of test kits and surgical masks for ASEAN Member States in need.