THAI Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin today (Oct. 20) arrived in Saudi Arabia for the Asean-Gulf Cooperation Council Summit from China four hours late because his airplane’s brakes failed and had to be repaired but this did not affect his participation in this maiden summit between the two blocs, Amarin TV and Naewna newspaper said.
Upon arriving at Riyadh from China where he attended the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation Srettha immediately went to Ritz-Carlton Hotel to attend the Asean-GCC summit under the leadership of His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi Crown Prince said a trade agreement between Thailand and GCC should be drafted and signed and set the process to start in January 2024.
He mentioned that Thailand’s trade with GCC could be substantially increased.
At the Asean-GCC summit Srettha proposed cooperation in three areas as follows:
– Thailand is ready to promote trade and investment seamlessly through reduction of investment barriers and is ready to push for the establishment of an Asean-GCC Business Forum to promote cooperation between the business sectors of both regions;
Thailand is ready to negotiate for a free trade agreement with GCC (Thai-GCC FTA) in order to increase trade value to US$40 billion;
At the same time, as the Kitchen of the World, Thailand is ready to share its experience in agriculture and food innovation to prepare for challenges in food security.
– Thailand is ready to pursue energy transition towards sustainable development with a goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions. In doing so Thailand is ready to promote green and sustainable financial mechanisms through the issuance of sustainable green bonds;
Thailand also proposed cooperation between GCC member countries and the Asean Centre for Sustainable Development Studies and Dialogue which is located in Bangkok through the exchange of common practices and experiences.
– Both Thailand and Asean are ready to welcome more tourists from GCC countries with Thailand having set a goal of doubling the number of arrivals from countries in this bloc from nearly 300,000 within the next two years.
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin holding talks with His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia today, Oct. 20, 2023. Top photo: Matichon, Insert and Front Page photos: Naewna