Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Srettha Thavisin, in his intervention at the APEC Economic Leaders’ Retreat, emphasized the prioritization of climate change and the Bangkok Goals on Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) Economy.
The Prime Minister delivered the intervention on “Interconnectedness and Building Inclusive and Resilient Economies” at the Moscone Convention Center, San Francisco, on 17 November 2023, when he stated that Thailand remains fully committed to multilateralism and APEC amidst global uncertainties, working toward an open, dynamic, resilient, and peaceful Asia-Pacific community. In order to realize this vision, he also proposed three major guidelines.
First, climate change must be prioritized and the Bangkok Goals on BCG Economy must also be advanced. APEC made significant progress this year, with over 280 projects responding to all the goals. The APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) had also made great strides, notably through the BCG Pledge and the inaugural Sustainable Future Forum to galvanize businesses and other stakeholders.
Second, open trade and investment are needed to drive growth and prosperity. APEC’s support for the rules-based multilateral trading system, with the World Trade Organization (WTO) at its core is the key. Thailand also calls for continued efforts on the Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP) agenda work plan to advance regional economic integration. Additionally, the country will proactively accelerate other FTA negotiations and upgrade existing ones to address emerging trade challenges.
Third, improving connectivity is vital for resilient economies and supply chains. Thailand is developing a "landbridge" connecting the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean and has implemented visa exemption schemes to promote tourism. The country also supports continued work on a more inclusive APEC Business Travel Card to support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and start-ups.
During the APEC Economic Leaders' Week in San Francisco, Prime Minister Srettha also met and held talks with many world leaders. For instance, he discussed with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio short-term visa exemption for business purpose to facilitate investment from both countries. They recognized that Thailand has been Japan’s regional electric vehicle (EV) production base, especially the transition from internal combustion engine vehicles to EV.
In his meeting with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Prime Minister Srettha reiterated his readiness to participate in the ASEAN – Australia Special Summit in Melbourne on 4-6 March 2024, when he plans to discuss with the Australian private sector ways to ramp up trade and investment exchanges between Thailand and Australia.
Prime Minister Srettha and Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau reiterated their commitment to driving cooperation in such areas as trade and investment, green energy transition, people-to-people exchanges through travel facilitation and education cooperation, and climate actions.
In his discussion with Honorable Gina M. Raimondo, U.S. Secretary of Commerce, the Prime Minister reiterated the Thai government’s commitment to proactive economic diplomacy and willingness to be the U.S. trusted and reliable supply chain partner, especially in such areas as semiconductors, EVs, and green energy transition.