At U.S.-ASEAN summit, Thailand promotes peace and partnership

U.S. President Joseph R. Biden and leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) pledged to forge a strategic partnership during their first face-to-face summit in five years in Washington D.C. earlier this month.

Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha took the opportunity of the summit to lay out the Kingdom’s strategies for promoting regional peace and resilience in the post-pandemic era. The Prime Minister also met with U.S. Secretary of Defense Gen. Lloyd Austin, U.S. Chamber of Commerce (USCC), U.S.-ASEAN Business Council (USABC), the National Center for APEC, and members of the Thai community living in America.

The summit marked the 45th anniversary of official relations between the U.S. and ASEAN, which groups all ten countries in Southeast Asia. Thailand is one of the founding members of the bloc, which originally numbered five countries.

In a joint Vision Statement at the end of the gathering, the U.S. and ASEAN agreed to establish a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership “that is meaningful, substantive, and mutually beneficial.” Details of the partnership are being finalized and members will officially sign on in November.

President Biden also said that the U.S. would provide $150 million to fund infrastructure, security and pandemic preparedness in ASEAN.

Prime Minister Prayut outlined Thailand’s regional strategies. First, promote U.S. constructive engagement with ASEAN and other key players in the region. He emphasized that it is important to create an environment of mutual trust.

Second, accelerate economic recovery and ensure and strengthen a resilient supply chain. To support that goal, he invited American businesses to invest in and develop high technology sectors, such as electric vehicles.

Lastly, Prayut called upon all to enhance sustainable development through a transition to clean energy and low-carbon societies. He also urged all countries to adopt the Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) economic model. As the host of APEC 2022, Thailand has been promoting this new development model.

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