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Thailand Stresses Sustainable Partnership between Asia and Europe

Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha has emphasized the importance of a sustainable partnership between Asia and Europe, in his remarks at the 12th ASEM Summit (ASEM12) and the EU-ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting.

The Prime Minister led a delegation to attend ASEM 12 on 18-19 October 2018 in Brussels, Belgium. In his remarks during the first plenary meeting, under the theme “Building the Future Together: Promoting Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Connectivity,” the Prime Minister pressed 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 ASEM 12, 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 toward a strategic partnership in the future will help generate a people-centered 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.

Source: Foreign Office, The Government Public Relations Department, Office of the Prime Minister :