Ms Yingluck spoke at the sideline event of the United Nations General Assembly, a respected venue for meeting on culture, development and politics.
She stressed that her government seeks to govern by "the rule of law" and in peace.
The premier also said that she is seeking to make Thailand more attractive to foreign investors by slashing corporate taxes and redesigning its water management systems.
On the international issue, Ms Yingluck said her government will "make every effort to help build trust and confidence" among parties in the South China Sea disputes. She added that Thailand's role as ASEAN coordinator for China issues gives it a unique role to play in the region.
She said maritime areas such as the South China Sea should be seen as an area of opportunity for cooperation rather than conflict.