Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha delivered a statement at the 27th International Conference on the Future of Asia (Nikkei Forum), held at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, Japan.
Government Spokesperson Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana disclosed that the Prime Minister shared the 4 reasons why he decided to come to Tokyo and join the Nikkei Forum in person:
First, Thailand has always considered Japan to be a true friend. Prime Minister Kishida’s official visit to the country earlier this month, as well as to other ASEAN countries, reverberates positively across the Southeast Asian region. It is especially important for Thailand, as both countries commemorate 135 years of diplomatic relations.
Second, the two countries have very close economic relations. Japan is Thailand’s second largest trading partner. Most importantly, Japan remains Thailand’s long-standing leading foreign investor, contributing to almost 30 per cent of the total foreign direct investment (FDI) for Thailand last year.
At the same time, a significant increase in Thailand’s direct investment in Japan has also been witnessed in the past decade, currently ranking second or third among ASEAN countries.
Third, Thailand is hosting APEC this year, of which Japan is an active member. The country’s APEC host year also coincides with Cambodia’s ASEAN Chairmanship, and Indonesia’s G20 Presidency.
In light of this unique opportunity, the three Chairs are determined to work with all our partners and stakeholders to ensure a spirit of cooperation as we in Southeast Asia continue to strengthen ASEAN centrality, credibility and relevance in maintaining peace and stability in our regional and global endeavors.
As the current Country Coordinator for ASEAN-Japan Dialogue Relations, Thailand stands ready to work with Japan and ASEAN member countries to further strengthen strategic partnership, putting people at the center, especially as ASEAN and Japan will be commemorating the 50th anniversary of relations next year.
Finally, his attendance at the event gave him the opportunity not only to share Thailand’s insight, but also to listen to and exchange valuable views with all stakeholders, especially the private sector.
As to what Asia’s role could be when gaps are growing wider in every aspect, the Prime Minister emphasized that Asia must be resilient. Asia must be a strong advocate for sustainability. Asia must strive to become a more inclusive society. The past two years have taught everyone that resilience to any disruption is fundamental to sustain oneself.
The Prime Minister also shared three things Thailand believes Asia can do collectively to transcend the status quo, while ensuring peace and security in the region.
First, we must regenerate economic growth by keeping markets open and inclusive. Second, we must continue to lend support to the multilateral system because no country can tackle these challenges alone. Third, Thailand believes that economic recovery must go hand in hand with sustainability, he said. (TNA)