Thai PM cancels plan to attend APEC summit

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BANGKOK, Nov 8 — Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Tuesday said she has cancelled her plan to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit Nov 12-15, saying she is obliged to focus on the flood crisis response at home.

Deputy Prime Minister Kittirat Na Ranong has been assigned to represent her at the Hawaii meeting, she said.

However, the schedule to attend the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders meeting in Bali, Indonesia Nov 17-19 remains unchanged.

Government spokeswoman Thitima Chaisaeng earlier told reporters that the prime minister would attend the 19th ASEAN Summit next week and she would use the meeting as arena to rebuild confidence among foreign investors on Thailand after the country has been severely hit by the flood crisis, which caused seven industrial estates and parks to close.

Ms Yingluck will also take the opportunity to explain to the international community Thailand’s rehabilitation measures and assure foreign investors of her government’s plan to support flood-affected foreign factories.

Ms Thitima said that on Friday the premier will attend the inauguration of the third Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge over the Mekong River connecting Thailand’s northeastern Nakhon Phanom Province with Thakhek in the Lao PDR province of Khammouane.