Launching the partnership at a banquet speech in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Prime Minister Yingluck said that Asia and Africa need to “work more closely together to enhance people-to-people links, from more tourism to greater cultural and youth exchanges between the two regions.”
She visited Mozambique during July 28-29, Tanzania during July 30 -31 and Uganda on August 1 and she was accompanied by a 60-strong delegation of private sector representatives from various industry sectors, including tourism, energy, agriculture, construction, textiles, gems and jewellery, and automotive assembly.
The three African countries have high economic potential, are rich in natural resources such as natural gas, minerals and fishery, and have extensive opportunities for exchange of knowledge and experiences in agriculture, public health, academia and management of national parks, and wildlife conservation.
Her delegation included Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul, Deputy Prime Minister Plodprasop Surasawadee , Industry Minister Prasert Boonchaisuk, PM’s Secretary General Suranand Vejjajiva, Permanent Trade Representative Nalinee Taveesin, and Government Spokesperson Teerat Ratanasevi.
Her trip was the first official visit by a Thai Prime Minister to any African country in eight years. In fact, her visit to Mozambique was the first by a Thai Government leader since the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations in 1989.
In all three countries, PM Yingluck met with the highest levels of leadership, including Mozambican President Armando Guebuza, Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. A series of agreements were signed in all countries to promote trade, investment, cultural and academic contacts.
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In her speech, she noted that 11 of the 20 of the world’s fastest growing economies are in Africa. Foreign Direct Investment to Africa is increasing at a time when global FDI is falling. At the same time, strong growth is making Asia one of the emerging engines of the global economy. This, she said, created immense opportunities for promoting regional economic integration between the African Union and the ASEAN Community and East Asia involving ASEAN, China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea.
She added, “Looking at Africa and Asia, you see two regions of great potential, with strong growth and similar development experiences -- so we share the same experiences and common goals. If they can link up in effective partnership, then their combined potential could benefit the world. To this end, I propose that we build on the current momentum and work together to develop an Africa-Asia Partnership.”
International Public Relations Division
Tourism Authority of Thailand
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