BANGKOK(NNT) - Prime Minister and Defense Minister, Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha, has officially welcomed the Premier of China, Li Keqiang, during his official visit to Thailand to attend the 35th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits.
The Chinese Premier inspected a guard of honor before witnessing the signing ceremony of three Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) in the fields of e-commerce, science and media innovation. Gen. Prayut also witnessed the signing ceremony.
The Prime Minister said he and his Chinese counterpart discussed various topics, including the economy, politics and security, science, technology and innovation, socio-cultural issues as well as regional and global events. Both of them agreed to promote connectivity and enhance cooperation in connection with the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025 (MPAC 2025), the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) and China’s Belt and Road Initiative. On economic cooperation, both sides agreed to link compatible projects, including Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) and China’s Greater Bay Area (GBA). The two countries agreed that mechanisms have to be set up to drive the bilateral cooperation.
Gen. Prayut invited China to expand its investment in Thailand. He asked the Chinese Premier to help take care of Thai entrepreneurs in his country and look into the supply of Thai agricultural products, particularly rice and para rubber. Gen. Prayut added that the Thai government has raised the country’s tourism safety standards. The two sides agreed to work together to support the digital economy and the Smart City project in accordance with the Thailand 4.0 policy. They agreed to exchange their knowledge and experience in dealing with political and security issues as well as ultra-fine dust particles known as PM2.5. They also agreed to cooperate to combat transnational crime and promote law enforcement. The MOUs signed by the two sides reflect a higher level of strategic partnership between Thailand and China, which will bring greater prosperity to both nations. The two leaders also agreed to expedite the Thai-Chinese high-speed railway project.
The Chinese Premier said he and Gen. Prayut agreed that both countries have to enhance political mutual trust and create concrete cooperation in all areas, such as the rice trade, digital economy, e-commerce and high-speed rail system. He said China has the potential to further develop these areas, as the country is like a large ship that is stable and fast and can cover a long distance.
The Premier of China also congratulated Thailand for successfully hosting the 35th ASEAN Summit and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) meeting on Monday (Nov 4), with leaders from 15 countries having concluded their negotiations. He said the RCEP is a free trade area with a huge population and with diverse economic structures of high potential. ASEAN has remained stable and continued to develop amid the global economic slowdown he noted.