สุนทรพจน์ : คำกล่าวผู้ช่วยรัฐมนตรีประจำกระทรวงการต่างประเทศในการเสวนา Russian - Thai Business Forum วันที่ 15 สิงหาคม 2562  ศูนย์ข่าว กต.

สุนทรพจน์ : คำกล่าวผู้ช่วยรัฐมนตรีประจำกระทรวงการต่างประเทศในการเสวนา Russian - Thai Business Forum วันที่ 15 สิงหาคม 2562

Your Excellency Mr. Alexey Gruzdev, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, 
 
Your Excellency Mr. Evgeny Tomikhin, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Thailand, 
 
Distinguished Guests,
 
Ladies and Gentlemen,
 
Good afternoon. It is a pleasure to be here, at this distinguished gathering of public and private sector representatives from both Russia and Thailand. Indeed, you are among the key drivers of the Thai-Russian relationship. Thank you for contributing to what is currently a very dynamic bilateral relationship in all aspects. 
 
This Business Forum comes at an opportune time, as the new Thai Government is in place and moving full steam ahead with its work. There will be policy continuity, in particular with regard to the economic agenda and, of course, new ideas wherever needed.
 
As I am sure you well know, especially those of you who have been doing business here, Thailand’s economic fundamentals remain strong. Growth continues on a positive trajectory; and our finances are in good standing.
 
Thailand continues to be a good place to do business. The Government continues to give importance to facilitating business by streamlining regulations and the approval process for investment proposals. In 2018, the World Bank ranked us 27th out of 190 countries on its Ease of Doing Business index. And in the 2019 IMD World Competitiveness Rankings, Thailand placed 25th out of 63 countries, a five spot improvement from 2018.
 
Thailand continues to enhance economic ties with the rest of the world.  We have been negotiating FTAs, bilaterally and regionally.  Currently, 13 FTAs have been implemented, while many more are either in the feasibility study phase or in negotiation, including the FTA with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). I hope that, with strong support from the Russian side, negotiations for the Thai-EAEU FTA could be launched soon. 
 
And we continue to welcome large numbers of foreign tourists. In 2018, some 38 million foreign tourists, including nearly 1.5 million Russians, visited Thailand. This year, we expect more than 40 million foreign tourists.
 
But technology is changing lifestyles and the way we do business. The Thai Government has therefore sought to ensure that the country and people are prepared. So the focus has been on strengthening our economic fundamentals as well as upgrading existing industries and facilitating innovative industries in target areas -- all in order to realise sustainable development. One of the ways in which we are doing this is through development of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC). Indeed, the EEC is designed to become a manufacturing, trade and investment hub for the region.  
 
This is where you can come in. There are immense opportunities for our friends and partners around the world in the Government’s development of the EEC and other infrastructure projects, among other things.  
 
So we encourage you to look beyond trading and government procurement towards forming a sustainable economic partnership with Thailand in the long term. Let us seek to synergise Russia’s expertise in areas such as defence technology, aviation and space technology, energy, smart cities, the digital sphere and IT, with the advantages that Thailand offers, including our strategic location and the tremendous investment opportunities arising from key infrastructure and development projects.
 
Distinguished Guests,
 
I am glad to note that our bilateral trade in the past few years has increased remarkably. The bilateral trade volume in 2018 was more than 3.5 billion US Dollars, which was an increase of 17 percent from 2017. I hope that both sides will continue to work closely to maintain this positive momentum, and especially towards achieving our set target of 10 billion US Dollars. The target may be ambitious, but I believe we have reason to be confident and optimistic.  
 
Distinguished Guests,
 
I wish to express my sincere appreciation to all involved in making this important event possible. And I wish the Forum every success.
 
Thank you.