Thai PM favours pan-Asia cooperation for regional development, prosperity

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KUWAIT, Oct 17 – Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra called for increased connectivity among Asian countries by improving infrastructure and building the trans-Asian and trans-Siberian railways for the region’s future prosperity.

In her opening speech at the Asian Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) held in this Middle Eastern country, she stressed the necessity for Asian countries to jointly set up an infrastructure development fund given the current global economic growth at 3.3 per cent and a global trade reduction from 5.8 per cent to 3.2 per cent this year as projected by the International Monetary Fund.

The slowdown will have an impact on Asia, signalling the need for an expanded investment and trade cooperation among Asian countries, she said.

Proposing cooperation among Asian countries for food stability, Ms Yingluck said Thailand, as one of the world’s major food suppliers, is seeking partners among ACD and non-ACD members to jointly produce and export foods and agricultural products including, halal foods.

She called on the ACD to appoint a secretary general to prepare its ministerial meeting in 2013 on a continuing basis, without interruption, and offered Thailand’s willingness to host the ACD Summit in 2015.

Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Kuwait head of state, said in his opening speech that the summit would discuss the formation of a US$2 billion fund to develop underdeveloped non-Arab countries in Asia.

Kuwait will contribute US$300 million to the fund, he announced. He urged member countries to adhere to the principles of peace, non interference, respect of human rights and political equality.