BANGKOK (NNT) - Prime Minister/Defense Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, presided over the opening ceremony of the 51st ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting and expressed his admiration for the cooperation making ASEAN a stable bloc in all respects, and combining efforts to increase the value of trade on a sustainable basis.
Gen Prayut admired the courage of the ASEAN founders 52 years ago and those who have supported the ASEAN purpose over the last five decades, thus seeing ASEAN grow up in all respects including concrete prosperity.
Meanwhile, ASEAN has set up working groups to advance the development of the ASEAN Free Trade Area theme, and expand into regional trade and attract foreign investors with promotional tax cuts, and ASEAN Economic Community initiatives and marketing approaches. ASEAN which has over 630 million customers in the respective member states has managed to reduce the cost of doing business and ensuring transportation within the community. In the wake of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, ASEAN’s combined GDP is expected to amount to over 27.3 trillion dollars by the end of this year.
The prime minister called for ASEAN to increase the value of its trade, open trade negotiations with economic superpowers and promote the cross-border economy; it should also support trade with regards to agricultural occupations and labor skills development of the people. Thailand as chair of this year’s ASEAN has actively played a role in increasing the strength of ASEAN to meet changes brought by the world’s fast-paced new technologies and other innovations.