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Thailand Reaffirms its Role in Mobilizing and Strengthening Sustainable Growth in ASEAN

13 November 2014 (Readers 1029)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has reaffirmed that Thailand would continue to uphold the missions and obligations of ASEAN in realizing the ASEAN Community to create mutual interest of the region.

At the 25th ASEAN Summit, held in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, on 12-13 November 2014, the Prime Minister expressed his pleasure to be part of the ASEAN family in his first participation in the ASEAN Summit. He also thanked other ASEAN member countries for their understanding about Thailands political situation.

According to Government Spokesman Yongyuth Mayalarp, Prime Minister Prayut proposed that in 2015, ASEAN should attach importance to achieving tangible results of the following four urgent issues:

1) Promotion of connectivity between member countries: Connectivity will lead to closer economic, trade, and investment cooperation. Thailand has put priority to the establishment of special economic zones along the border areas to spread prosperity, reduce development gap, increase employment and production chains, and ensure better livelihoods of the people;

2) ASEAN must be more prompt in tackling transnational threats, especially human trafficking and transnational crimes. Thailand has stressed the importance of finalizing the Regional Plan of Action and ASEAN Convention on Trafficking in Persons by 2015 in order to address the problem in a comprehensive manner. In addition, all member countries must join forces in creating a drug-free ASEAN Community in 2015 through the ASEAN narcotics control body as a mechanism to expand prevention and suppression networks against drugs;

3) ASEAN should intensify its effort in achieving tangible results in the negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership by the year 2015, as planned, in order to expand trade and investment opportunities of the countries in the region;

4) ASEAN must join hands in disaster risk reduction and management in order to minimize the impact upon the regional economy and people. The ASEAN working group on disaster mitigation must be operational to efficiently address the problem.

Concerning the ASEAN Communitys Post-2015 Vision, Prime Minister Prayut stated that since the establishment of the ASEAN Community is an ongoing process, the vision of ASEAN must look ahead to accommodate future changes. He shared his view that the ASEAN Community must be strengthened from within. It should, therefore, give priority to the people's agenda by upgrading peoples livelihoods in various areas, such as education, public health, agriculture, food security, sustainable development, poverty eradication, and the reduction of development gap and disparity in order to ensure that all sectors will benefit from the ASEAN Community.

In addition, the agricultural sector is a key to the ASEAN economy. The Prime Minister had mentioned development of the agricultural sector at the APEC Summit, and he would like to propose that ASEAN develop its agricultural sector in a sustainable manner in order to create income security for farmers, promote comprehensive growth, and strengthen global and regional food security. Farmers must be educated on agricultural businesses and agricultural potential should also be enhanced to add value to agro-products.

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