BANGKOK, July 28 — Thailand’s Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs Sihasak Puangketkeow left Bangkok on Sunday for Seoul to attend a two-day meeting with ministers of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV) plus South Korea on ways to increase cooperation in economic development along the Mekong River.
The meeting, starting today, is significant as it will specify economic development framework among those countries and also to help narrow the development gap between new and old members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), said Mr Sihasak.
He said participants at the meeting will approve a draft plan on Mekong River development and will also prepare a three-year cooperation framework for member countries.
The meeting gives Thailand an opportunity to reaffirm its strategic partnership with ASEAN and South Korea in developing the Mekong River Basin. It also opens the door for Korea to join in Mekong region development programmes with the rest of ASEAN, including Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Singapore, Mr Sihasak said.r
Private South Korean investors are bring invited to increase investment in Mekong River development programmes where they would be asked to transfer their experience in information and communication technology as well as water management, he said.
Mr Sihasak said he would hold bilateral talks with South Korean foreign minister Yun Byung-se and the business community during the visit and would explain to them the current politics in Thailand.
The businessmen would also be invited to invest more in Thailand.
Mr Sihasak said he would inform them that Thailand will proceed in all its infrastructure development projects, including the now delayed water management programme, in line with the state budget and they also must also be “transparent.”