At Government House, H.E. Mr. Pedro Zwahlen, Ambassador of the Swiss Confederation to Thailand, paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister and Defense Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha on occasion of his assumption of duty. Deputy Secretary-General to the Prime Minister and Acting Government Spokesperson Anucha Burapachaisri disclosed about gist of the meeting as follows:
The Prime Minister welcomed Swiss Ambassador, and commended close relations between Thailand and the Swiss Confederation, as the two countries celebrated the 90th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2021. The Prime Minister was also pleased with regular exchange of visits at all levels, and affirmed Thailand’s commitment to work together with the Ambassador for the development of cooperation in the areas of mutual interest.
The Swiss Ambassador appreciated the warm welcome, and expressed pleasure to be tenured in Thailand. He commended the Prime Minister’s leadership in successfully hosting the 2022 APEC Economic Leaders’ meeting, where the Bangkok Goals on Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) Economy was adopted. The Ambassador also marveled relations between Thailand and the Swiss Confederation, and committed to increase cooperation in all dimensions.
Both parties also discussed other issues of cooperation:
On economic cooperation, the Swiss Federation is Thailand’s 2nd largest trade partner from Europe, with over 150 leading companies investing in the country. Nevertheless, the Prime Minister was of the view that Thailand and the Swiss Confederation have further potential to increase mutual trade and investment for sustainable economic recovery. The Prime Minister extended his invitation to the Swiss private sector to invest in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) in the areas of their expertise. He also thanked the Swiss Confederation for its support on the relaunch of Thailand- EU free trade negotiation (EFTA), and expressed hope that EFTA could be finalized soon. The Swiss Ambassador agreed on mutual trade and investment potential between the two countries, and expressed readiness to support EFTA negotiation which would be a key to further increase of economic cooperation.
The Prime Minister and the Ambassador were pleased with the signing of cooperation agreement for the implementation of climate mitigation activities under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement between Thailand and the Swiss Confederation on June 24, 2022, which allows the Swiss Confederation to offset carbon emissions via climate projects in Thailand. An initial project under this agreement involves the funding of an electric bus network in Bangkok, which will contribute to the reduction of GHG and airborne fine particulate matter (PM2.5). In addition, the cooperation agreement also prescribes EV technology transfer and support on the development of environmentally-friendly transport infrastructure. Thailand and the Swiss Confederation became the first two countries in the world to settle a deal under the Paris Agreement to create a basis for trading in global greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction and mitigation outcomes, which demonstrates the two countries’ commitment to address climate challenges. The Swiss Ambassador was pleased to learn that Thailand has placed great importance on the environmental issue. The Swiss Confederation is keen to provide support, especially on the transfer of agricultural technologies, which is in line with the Thai government’s policy on smart farming, and new theory agriculture.
Both parties were also pleased with an increase of travel activities between people of the two countries. The Prime Minister called on the Swiss Confederation to encourage more Swiss tourists to visit Thailand. He also commended Swiss educational excellence, and hoped that the country share experiences and good practices with Thailand.
Toward the end of the meeting the Prime Minister called for the Swiss Confederation’s support on Thailand’s candidature to host the Expo 2028 – Phuket, under the theme: “Future of Life: Living in Harmony, Sharing Prosperity”. (PRD)