15
November
2018

Speech by H.E. General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, at the Closing Ceremony of the 33rd ASEAN Summit and Related Summits and Handing Over of the ASEAN Chairmanship to the Kingdom of Thailand

15
November
2018

Speech by H.E. General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, at the Closing Ceremony of the 33rd ASEAN Summit and Related Summits and Handing Over of the ASEAN Chairmanship to the Kingdom of Thailand

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Mr. Chairman, Your Majesty, Excellencies, and Distinguished Guests,

I wish to thank and congratulate Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and the Singaporean ASEAN Chairmanship team on their success in efficiently driving forward a resilient and innovative ASEAN Community. Thailand will continue the good work on those issues to which ASEAN has given priority this past year, especially the ASEAN Smart Cities Network for the purposes of ensuring continuity and sustainability for the ASEAN Community.

Mr. Chairman, Your Majesty, Excellencies, and Distinguished Guests,

Since the founding of ASEAN in Bangkok in 1967 over five decades ago, ASEAN has become a Community in a region of peace and security. ASEAN has grown into the sixth largest economy in the world, and is projected to become the world’s fourth largest economy by 2030. Its role is recognized internationally, and is at the centre of the regional architecture. However, ASEAN is also facing a number of challenges, such as trade and political competition, disruptive technologies, transnational crime, inequities, and transformations in the region’s social structure.

For these reasons, all ten countries must collaborate even more closely, on the foundation of ASEAN unity and the principle of the 3Ms, mutual trust, mutual respect, and mutual benefit, to realize concrete deliverables and sustainability for ASEAN in all dimensions. I am therefore proud to announce Thailand’s theme for the ASEAN Chairmanship next year, which is “Advancing Partnership for Sustainability”. This theme has three main components.

First, is “Advancing”. ASEAN will look towards the future and move forward together dynamically, making use of technological advances from the 4th Industrial Revolution, and enhancing our competitiveness. ASEAN will also build immunity to the negative effects of disruptive technologies and future challenges, especially for MSMEs, so as to advance towards a “Digital ASEAN”.

Second, is “Partnership” — both within ASEAN and with Dialogue Partners and the international community, by strengthening the concept of “ASEAN Plus One” and reinforcing the ASEAN-centred regional architecture, increasing economic cooperation with all countries with due consideration to balance and benefits for the people, and enhancing the role of ASEAN on the international stage in addressing important global issues such as climate change. In strengthening ASEAN’s various partnerships, one of the most important drivers is the promotion of connectivity in various dimensions, including infrastructure, rules and regulations, and people-to-people links, especially in the context of the ASEAN Year of Culture 2019. Equally important is connecting the various connectivity strategies within the region, to becoming a “Seamless ASEAN”.

Third, is “Sustainability in all dimensions,” be it sustainable security, sustainable economic growth, which includes the green economy and sustainable development. The establishment of the ASEAN Centre for Sustainable Development Studies and Dialogue and the ASEAN Centre for Active Ageing and Innovation will play an important role in achieving this goal.

Mr. Chairman, Your Majesty, Excellencies, and Distinguished Guests,

In conclusion, I wish to invite all ASEAN Member States, ASEAN citizens, and all sectors of society to cooperate closely in developing an ASEAN Brand, in order to create strategic value added for ASEAN, strengthen our ASEAN identity, and help ASEAN become a people-centred Community that leaves no one behind, and looks forward to our future with pride.

 

Sawasdee Krab and Thank you.