Bangkok – The Prime Minister has voiced his satisfaction with the outcomes of the 2018 ASEAN-Australia Summit, which took place in Sydney, Australia, over the weekend.
Gen Prayut Chan-ocha remarked that the atmosphere of the discussions was positive and all participating nations proposed ways to enhance strategic partnerships between the Southeast Asian bloc and the island nation. He noted that suggestions included strengthening Micro SMEs and said that Thai SMEs should prepare to adapt to the development. Other recommendations concerned cooperation in combating international terrorism and any emerging threats in the region.
The summit concluded with representatives agreeing to the Sydney Declaration, which sets a general framework for collaboration, as well as a commitment to cooperate against international security threats and to set regulations for online trade. The PM said that it was agreed that Thailand and Australia should improve the Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA).
After attending the summit, Gen Prayut went to a gala dinner organized by the Thai Ambassador, H.E. Nantana Sivakua at the Thai Consulate in Sydney. Staff at the office presented the PM with a cake to mark his approaching birthday. He thanked them for the gesture and for their service to the Kingdom as it moves towards a restitution of democracy. He remarked to the gathering that he sees each day as important and finds joy in his work, even though it may be trying on some occasions. He said that while he may face obstacles and issues in his efforts, he believes that with cooperation from all, Thailand can progress to the level Australia is currently at.
Gen Prayut then spoke about ongoing reforms and said all sides must put the nation at the center of their outlook and that only through a unified effort can necessary reforms be achieved. He assured his audience that planned reforms would not be detrimental to any part of Thai society.
Later, the PM was reported to have urged the head of Bhumjaithai Party, Anuthin Chanweerakul, who also traveled to Australia as a member of the business community, not to be too politically active and to trust that he is working for the country’s happiness.