สุนทรพจน์ : คำกล่าวเปิดตัวโครงการ “เสริมสร้างขีดความสามารถของผู้ประสานงานระดับชาติของกรอบความร่วมมือแม่โขง – ล้านช้าง” โดยนายวีระศักดิ์ ฟูตระกูล รัฐมนตรีช่วยว่าการกระทรวงการต่างประเทศ  ศูนย์ข่าว กต.

สุนทรพจน์ : คำกล่าวเปิดตัวโครงการ “เสริมสร้างขีดความสามารถของผู้ประสานงานระดับชาติของกรอบความร่วมมือแม่โขง – ล้านช้าง” โดยนายวีระศักดิ์ ฟูตระกูล รัฐมนตรีช่วยว่าการกระทรวงการต่างประเทศ

Your Excellency Mr. Lyu Jian, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China in the Kingdom of Thailand,

Your Excellency Dr. Tej Bunnag, Assistant Secretary General for Administration of the Thai Red Cross Society and Honorary Advisor to the Mekong Institute Council and my former boss,

Excellencies,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

On behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, I have the honour to extend very warm welcome to our distinguished guests to this launching ceremony of the Mekong-Lancang Cooperation or MLC Special Fund Project ‘Capacity Building for National Coordinators of the MLC.’

This is one of the activities organized during the “MLC Week” to commemorate the 3rd anniversary of the MLC. I therefore would like to take this opportunity to extend our best wishes and congratulations to MLC member countries.

I am also pleased to learn that the Chinese Embassy, in collaboration with the Mekong Institute, is also holding a forum on MLC Cooperation on Sustainable Development on 20th March 2019 at the Radisson Blu Hotel to celebrate this auspicious occasion as well.

Today’s event highlights the importance given by the Thai government to the enhancement of the capacities of the officials of the MLC National Secretariats as well as other authorities concerned from member countries.

In this connection, I would like to thank the Chinese government for having approved this project, which will contribute to further strengthening our cooperation under the MLC Framework.

 

Excellencies

Distinguished guests,

 

Since the establishment of the MLC in March 2016, we have witnessed impressive achievements, thanks to the commitment of the member countries to work closely to fulfill our Leader’s shared aspirations inscribed in the Sanya Declaration and the Phnom Penh Declaration and implement the MLC Five-Year Plan of Action.

In just three years’ time, there have already been 2 Leaders’ Meetings and 4 Foreign Ministers’ Meetings. Several institutional mechanisms have been established. The five priorities areas have also advanced at a satisfactory pace. The last Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Luang Prabang last December came up with several proposals to move forward our cooperation, especially the proposal to jointly establish the MLC Economic Development Belt. This is, indeed, commendable given the slower than expected global economic recovery, the uncertainties accompanying the global multilateralism as well as the current adjustment in the international geopolitical architecture.

Despite this progress, more concrete and tangible results can be achieved. It is our conviction that the MLC, with a combined population of over 1.6 billion people, constituting nearly 40% of the Asian population with a combined GDP of 12 trillion USD, a robust workforce, has greater potentials. Thus, Thailand is committed to continue working closely with China and other member countries under the MLC towards our common aspiration. An aspiration to bring about economic prosperity while safeguarding our social ideals, narrow development gaps, support regional integration and complement other existing regional cooperation frameworks and initiatives including ACMECS, ASEAN as well as China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

 

Excellencies,

Distinguished guests,

 

Both Thailand and China are active and key players in promoting sustainable development in the Mekong sub-region. Our two countries are committed to such promotion through multidimensional connectivity which encompasses hardware, software and people-to-people connectivity.

As for Thailand, the implementation of Thailand 4.0 policy and the development of the Eastern Economic Corridor –EEC are indicative of our efforts at the national level to promote regional connectivity. We welcome the increasing Chinese investments in the EEC and are pleased with the progress of the Thai-Chinese high-speed railway that will connect China with other countries in the mainland Southeast Asia.

We have also actively engaged in several sub-regional and regional frameworks, and have also initiated four master plans on connectivity, namely; (1) ASEAN Master Plan on Connectivity 2025 (2) BIMSTEC Master Plan on Transport Connectivity (3) Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Master Plan on Blue Economy and (4) ACMECS Master Plan (2019-2023) adopted at the 8th ACMECS Summit in Bangkok in June last year. In this regard, Thailand, as ACMECS’ coordinating country to engage with development partners, looks forward to welcome China as our development partner in the very near future.

At the sub-regional level, the ACMECS Master Plan, which Thailand has been the key driver, has embraced the concept of multidimensional connectivity, and will guide future direction of the Mekong countries towards sustainable development and integrating our markets into the global value and supply chain. The ACMECS Master Plan will also facilitate and foster the Mekong sub-region to become an effective “gateway to ASEAN.

Since the inception of the MLC, China has played an indispensable and instrumental role in making the MLC a unique and outstanding regional framework that can deliver truly tangible and beneficial results.

Thailand believes that the ACMECS Master Plan will not only complement the MLC and China’s vision to establish the MLC Economic Development Belt, but also play an important part in the accomplishment of other connectivity initiatives including the Greater Bay Area (GBA) Initiative, the Pan Beibu Economic Cooperation, as well as the Belt and Road Initiative. It is our hope that these various connectivity initiatives can be interwoven through the concretization of the MLC Economic Development Belt. In addition, during the visit of H.E. Mr. Wang Yong, State Councilor of the People’s Republic of China to Thailand last year, both sides agreed to promote the synergy between the ACMECS Master Plan and the MLC.

At the Regional level, it is Thailand’s priority during our Chairmanship of ASEAN to “connect the connectivities” by promoting the synchronization of sub-regional, intra-regional and inter-regional connectivity initiatives.

To this end, Thailand is determined to work closely with China under ACMECS and the MLC to build a community of shared future of peace and prosperity among our peoples.

 

Excellencies,

Distinguished guests,

 

Before I conclude my remarks, I wish to express our deep appreciation to the Chinese Embassy in Bangkok and the Mekong Institute-MI for the kind support for today’s event. This afternoon, the Mekong Institute will organize the first Steering Committee to set clear guidelines for the implementation of the MLC projects.

Without further ado, I declare the Launching Ceremony for the Mekong-Lancang Cooperation Special Fund Project “Capacity Building for National Coordinators of Mekong-Lancang Cooperation” open. I look forward to active participation of the MLC officials and coordinators in the project for sustainable development in MLC member countries.

 

Thank you.