News : Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand attended the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation News

News : Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand attended the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation

H.E. Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, together with H.E. Mr. Somkid Jatusripitak, Deputy Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, H.E. Mr. Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, Minister of Transport of the Kingdom of Thailand, H.E. Dr. Pichet Durongkaveroj, Minister of the Digital Economy and Society of the Kingdom of Thailand and H.E. Ms. Chutima Bunyapraphasara, Deputy Minister of Commerce of the Kingdom of Thailand, attended the 2nd Belt and Road Forum (BRF) for International Cooperation under the theme “Shaping a Brighter Shared Future” in Beijing, People’s Republic of China during 25 – 27 April 2019. The meeting was also attended by leaders from 38 countries, Special Envoys from 7 countries, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, to discuss cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) for concrete outcomes.

On 26 April 2019, the Prime Minister attended the High-Level Meeting and delivered remarks as the chair of ASEAN in 2019, noting the similarity between ASEAN and BRI principles focusing on cooperation to achieve prosperity, peace, and a shared future. In his speech, the Prime Minister emphasised the principle of equality and respect for multilateralism and noted the importance of promoting connectivity in all areas; namely, policy, infrastructure, laws and regulations, digital, and people-to-people, as key to bring about sustainable development, as well as to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. He also suggested expediting the implementation of the ASEAN Master Plan on Connectivity 2025 (MPAC 2025) and the ACMECS Master Plan (2019 - 2023), as well as establishing sustainable financing mechanism for the development of high quality infrastructure.

On the same day, the Prime Minister had bilateral meetings with H.E. Mr. Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China, and H.E. Mr. Li Keqiang, Premier of the People’s Republic of China. Both sides discussed Thailand’s development policies which are in line with those of the BRI, especially in the area of connectivity. The Prime Minister emphasised Thailand’s role as the hub of Southeast Asia and requested the Chinese side to look after Thai investors in China, support Thai - Sino railway cooperation, as well as tripartite cooperation between Thailand - China - Japan in the flagship project of constructing a high speed railway linking 3 airports in Thailand in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) which can serve as a model of cooperation in the region. Moreover, H.E. Mr. Han Zheng, Vice Premier of People’s Republic of China, hosted a working lunch in honour of the Prime Minister and his delegation.  The Prime Minister also met with H.E. Mr. Nhuyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister of Vietnam, and H.E. Mr. Khaltmaa Battulga, President of Mongolia, at the meeting.

 On 27 April 2019, the Prime Minister attended the Leader’s Round Table session I titled “Boosting Connectivity to Explore New Sources of Growth” and delivered remarks focusing on Thailand’s role in enhancing connectivity within the country, as well as in the region and beyond, especially by elevating the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) as the connecting hub. He also suggested that BRI support capacity building of the business sector, facilitate trade and investment, enhance digital connectivity, set up a sustainable financing mechanism, and promote human resource development to support development projects. The high speed railways project connecting 3 airports can be considered a successful model of economic cooperation between China and Japan in a third country, which could be applied to other projects for tangible results.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand represented the Prime Minister at the 2nd and 3rd session of the Leader’s Round Table meeting. The 2nd session was organised as a working lunch titled “Strengthening Policy Synergy and Building Closer Partnership,” where leaders from many countries informed about the signing of agreements and Memoranda of Understanding between their country and China to promote cooperation under the BRI, and synergy between the BRI and their development policies. 

The 3rd session of the meeting, titled “Promoting Green and Sustainable Development to Implement the UN 2030 Agenda”, emphasised the need to promote green development in order to achieve Sustainable Development Goals, which required constructive cooperation from all stakeholders. The meeting also adopted the Joint Communique of the 2nd BRF Meeting, which reviews past achievements and sets future direction of cooperation under the BRI in 5 areas; namely (1) Strengthening Development Policy Synergy, (2) Boosting Infrastructure Connectivity, (3) Promoting Sustainable Development, (4) Strengthening Practical Cooperation, and (5) Advancing People-to-People Exchanges.

On 25 May 2019, China also hosted 12 Thematic Forums participated by 5,000 people from 150 countries to discuss ways to enhance connectivity in areas such as policy, infrastructure, digital, trade and financing mechanism. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand attended the Thematic Forum on Policy Connectivity and delivered remarks commending the success of the BRI which has produced concrete results in many areas, including in promoting multidimensional connectivity. He also suggested that 4 elements be taken into account for future cooperation under the BRI, namely, (1) respecting domestic priorities and the needs of every country, (2) safeguarding multilateralism, (3) promoting sustainable development to achieve the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and (4) promoting the synchronisation of various development and connectivity policies and initiatives or “Connecting the Connectivities.” He also informed the meeting of the tripartite cooperation between Thailand - China - Japan in the flagship project of constructing high speed railways linking 3 airports in the EEC, which can be considered as a model of cooperation and partnership between the public and private sectors (PPP). This model can be applied to BRI projects and other initiatives to achieve the 5Ps of Global Agenda, namely, People, Partnerships, Peace, Prosperity and Planet.