Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva holds high hope for Asia’s and ASEAN’s economic integration in the upcoming ASEAN Summits with Dialogue Partners, ASEAN Plus Three and Plus Six, scheduled for 10-12 April 2009, in Pattaya, Thailand.
Speaking at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 30 March, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Devawongse Varopakarn Institute of Foreign Affairs, the Prime Minister said that the importance of ASEAN centrality could not be overemphasized. Thailand would shortly be hosting the ASEAN Summits with Dialogue Partners and welcoming 15 world leaders, the United Nations Secretary-General, and presidents of international financial institutions to Pattaya. ASEAN and her partners would make headway in collectively addressing the urgent need to address the global economic and financial crisis.
He remarked that it would not be an easy path to realize the ASEAN Economic Community as stipulated in the ASEAN Charter, but with ASEAN joint efforts, a more harmonious and prosperous community of Southeast Asian nations could soon emerge, a stronger and more resilient community that would be better equipped to respond to global challenges.
The Thai government is intent on making the ASEAN Summits with Dialogue Partners another runaway success. The Cabinet on April 7 held its meeting at the Royal Cliff Beach Resort Hotel, the venue of the ASEAN+3 and ASEAN+6 Summits, mainly to test the facilities.
Thai people are at the same time asked to join forces in welcoming world leaders and be genial hosts, especially residents of Pattaya, a world-renowned beach resort. Prior to the Cabinet meeting, Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya on April 5 inspected the meeting venue and met local residents in preparation for the summits. The Foreign Minister was fully satisfied with the meeting and function facilities, as well as accommodations for leaders. He remarked that the summits would bring fame to Thailand in a variety of ways, with 15 world leaders and their parties coming to visit, accompanied by national and international press corps from all over the world.
He asked for residents of Chon Buri and Pattaya to show to the world their potentials as good and hospitable hosts. He mentioned that the summits would generate 500 to 1,000 million baht income for Pattaya and the neighboring areas.