Thailand Prime Minister meets with U.S. Secretary of State

August 8, 2017, at 1400 hrs., Mr. Rex W. Tillerson, United States Secretary of State, paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha.

Lt. Gen. Werachon Sukondhapatipak, Deputy Government Spokesperson, disclosed gist of the meeting as follows:

The Prime Minister welcomed and thanked the U.S. Secretary of State for his signing of the book of condolences over the passing of His Majesty late King Bhumibol. The gesture reflects bonding and cordial relations between the two countries. The U.S. Secretary of State also expressed understanding and sympathy toward all Thais for the great loss.

Both parties congratulated relations between the two countries that have become tightened with an increasing number of exchange of high-level visits and discussions. The Prime Minister reiterated that Thailand has attached importance to long-standing relations and friendship with the U.S., and commended the latter’s role in global affairs, especially on security, trafficking in persons, terrorism, transnational crime, and natural disasters, which Thailand, as member of the global community, stands ready to endorse and be responsible for world’s security and peacefulness.

On economic cooperation, both countries were pleased with improving relations, and came to terms that economic cooperation and people-to-people relations are the highlights of Thailand-U.S. relations. At present, the number of U.S. investors in Thailand has been increasing, and vice versa. Both parties agreed to consider providing further facilitation to the private sector for ease of doing business.

The Prime Minister added that Thailand is now implementing Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) under “Thailand 4.0” policy. A number of U.S. businesses have already expressed interest to take part in commercial development of U-Tapao Airport. He hoped that more U.S. investors will consider investing in Thailand’s EEC.

The Prime Minister also reiterated the Government’s policy on protection of intellectual properties rights, which is in line with Thailand 4.0. Considerable progress has been made in this area, i.e., apprehending wrongdoers, suppressing counterfeit goods manufacturing bases, enhancing efficiency in approval of patents and trademarks, etc. In light of this, the U.S. is urged to review Thailand’s status on its priority watch list at the first opportunity.

Both parties also congratulated and hoped to expand long-established cooperation in security. The Prime Minister affirmed that the Thai Government has placed high priority in addressing trafficking in persons since the first day he took office, and has put the issue as a national agenda. Related progress has been seen in all areas.

With regard to regional and global issues, i.e., the South China Sea dispute, and the situation on the Korean Peninsula, Thailand stands ready to cooperate and endorse UNSC’s resolutions in a bid to restore regional peace.

On the current situation of Thailand, the Prime Minister stressed that the Government has been working in accordance with the Roadmap to move the country toward sustainable and quality democracy.

The U.S. Secretary of State expressed pleasure to visit Thailand, and added that he is well familiar with Thailand due to his several visits to the country in the past when he served as president of Esso Exploration and Production Khorat Inc. for 3 years. He also expressed readiness to welcome the Prime Minister and delegation on the occasion of his official visit to the U.S. of which the schedule will later be finalized by both parties.