Thailand: PM urges Asean travel relaunch

  • Thailand has called on Asean members to collaborate over public health in a bid to reopen intra-regional travel as part of post-Covid 19 measures to restore the regional economy.
  • It was among three proposals made by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha as he attended the Asean Summit held by Vietnam via teleconference on 26 Jun 20. Also participating were leaders of the other nine Asean member states and Asean secretary-general Dato Lim Jock Hoi.
  • The summit also announced the official establishment of the Covid-19 Asean Response Fund in which Thailand will make a voluntary contribution of USD100,000.
  • The first proposal is to build a more connected Asean, Gen Prayut said. He urged member states to urgently connect up Asean by accelerating the implementation of the Master Plan on Asean Connectivity (MPAC) 2025 and promoting connectivity and green infrastructure development to create a seamless and sustainable grouping.
  • The second proposal is to promote a stronger Asean by building strength from within through advancing economic integration and expediting the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) within 2020 so that Asean can recover economically.
  • The third proposal is to create an “Asean with enhanced immunity” by promoting health security, food security, human security, protecting human rights, cooperation on business and human rights, and addressing terrorism, transnational crime, cyber threats, illegal migration, drug trafficking and illegal fishing for regional peace, Gen Prayut said.
  • He also expressed Thailand’s support for all three main pillars of the Asean Community Council to start developing a recovery plan in order to set out the path to “building immunity” for Asean in the future, and building upon the successes which Asean have collectively achieved.

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