‘Connectivity’ the theme as Thai PM inaugurates World Economic Forum on East Asia

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BANGKOK, May 31 – Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Thursday will preside over the official inaugural of the 21st World Economic Forum (WEF) on East Asia 2012 being held at the Shangri-La Hotel.

The official opening ceremony is scheduled at 3.30pm and the theme of this year’s meeting is “Shaping the Region’s Future through Connectivity.”  The WEF will continue through tomorrow.

This morning the prime minister is attending a CNBC Power Breakfast where she will interact with corporate leaders and address the gathering on “Asia’s New Reality: Growth vs  Inflation.”

Ms Yingluck and other dignitaries will have an opportunity to share their perspectives on the new challenges and opportunities of shaping East Asia’s future through connectivity.

The premier will deliver welcoming remarks at the opening ceremony in the afternoon and will host a gala dinner for all participants.

More than 630 participants from 50 countries will meet at the World Economic Forum on East Asia taking place for the first time in Thailand.

The Bangkok meeting will welcome over 50 public figures representing 20 countries, including Indonesian President  Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Lao Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong and Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.

More than 450 business leaders, over 60 ‘Global Growth Companies,’ 33 ‘Young Global Leaders’ and 14 persons recognised as ‘Social Entrepreneurs’ together with other members of civil society and academia will convene to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing East Asia.

The 21st East Asia meeting is also bringing together key international public figures such as Aung San Suu Kyi, Chairman of the National League for Democracy (NLD); Pascal Lamy, Director-General, World Trade Organization (WTO); Rajat M Nag, Managing Director-General, Asian Development Bank (ADB);  Supachai Panitchpakdi, Secretary-General, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD); Surin Pitsuwan, Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretary General; Naoyuki Shinohara, Deputy Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Top-level government representatives from Thailand at the meeting include Kittiratt Na-Ranong, Deputy Prime Minister/Minister of Finance; Chumpol Silapa-Archa, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism; Surapong Tovichakchaikul, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Anudith Nakornthap, Minister of Information and Communication Technology; and Arak Chonlatanon, Minister of Energy.

WEF yesterday held a surprise meeting of Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi with more than 60 young World Economic Forum participants in a one-hour session with her.