Thailand’s Prime Minister, Prayut Cha-o-cha, has proposed a three-pronged strategy to resume regional travel between ASEAN member states via video conference at the 36th ASEAN summit on Friday.
Leaders of nine ASEAN member states attended the teleconference in addition to ASEAN secretary-general, Dato Lim Jock Hoi.
Prime Minister Prayut proposed three paths of action for ASEAN nations to advance over the coming months:
The first proposal focuses on building a better connected ASEAN block. The Thai Prime Minister suggested accelerating the implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025 and promoting green infrastructure development.
He urged other member states to consider easing measures for inter-country travel to help restore businesses and connectivity. To achieve this, Prayut said that an agreement between countries needs to be put in place that would allow for travel between member nations.
The second proposal focuses on the promotion of digital infrastructure and investment to increase ASEAN’s collective GDP.
He urged member nations to use innovation and technology for services and high-value goods in line with the Business Model BCG (Bio, Circular, and Green economies).
Finally, Prime Minister Prayut proposed the creation of “ASEAN enhanced immunity.” He said this could be achieved by promoting a broad range of ideas, including:
- Health security
- Food security
- Human security
- Human rights
- Business cooperation
- Addressing terrorism
- Transitional crimes
- Cyber threats
- Illegal migration
- Drug trafficking
- Illegal fishing
He suggested that by tackling these issues, the ASEAN region could prepare for the challenges and volatility that may arise in the future.
The summit also announced the establishment of the Covid-19 ASEAN Response Fund. Thailand has made a voluntary contribution of 3.1 million baht (USD 100,000).
Source: Bangkok Post