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Thailand Fully Supports the Belt and Road Initiative

16 May 2017 (Readers 1141)

Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai stated that Thailand fully supports the Belt and Road Initiative, since it has been a strong advocate of connectivity in Southeast Asia. The statement was made at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing, China, on 14 May 2017.
In his statement, the Foreign Minister explained that, in 2009, Thailand proposed to set up an ASEAN Master Plan on Connectivity to link the countries in the subregion to this vision of this shared prosperity. Connectivity is one of the most crucial elements to achieve such goals. Through roads, railways, ports, and digital connectivity, flows of trade, investment, knowledge, and people can be accelerated. The Belt and Road Initiative will help to increase the flow of knowledge, economic activities, technologies and infrastructures for the prosperity of the people.
Mr. Don said that Thailand is currently carrying out policies that are complimentary to the Belt and Road Initiative. First, Thailand is promoting its Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) that runs through the center of Thailand. The Government plans to connect this corridor to the China-Indochina Peninsula Economic Corridor (CICPEC).
He pointed out that Thailand is where the three main economic corridors namely, North-South Economic Corridor, East-West Economic Corridor, and Southern Economic Corridor interconnect. Hence, the country can certainly play a vital role in linking Chinas CICPEC with the Mekong subregion.
Second, Thailand is implementing the "Thailand 4.0 policy as the main tool to overcome the middle income trap. Thailand 4.0 involves the integration of new core elements, such as innovation, knowledge, technology, and creativity into all its core policies, both economic and social. One of priorities is to integrate Thailand with ASEAN and connecting the country to the Global Connectivity platform.
Thailand also strongly supports economic integration in the CLMVT or ACMECS toward a seamless connectivity and an improved Human Resources Development in the subregion. This is with a view to create a perfect regional supply and value chain and sharpen the competitive edge of this region in the global market.
Third, the Thai government attaches great importance to digital economy. It aims to make digital infrastructure accessible for all and utilize digital economy as a tool to improve economic and social activities. Digital economy has been consistently promoted in hard infrastructure, soft infrastructure, and service infrastructure throughout Thailand.
The Foreign Minister added that these key national policies certainly complement the Belt and Road Initiative.
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