Thai-US relations: Strengthening trade ties with Estonian E-Government expertise

Photo: Government House.

The Prime Minister of Thailand announced that he has plans to bolster trade relations with the United States. This comes as the two nations observe their 190th anniversary of diplomatic ties.

The announcement was made following a meeting between Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, and US President Joe Biden during a gala dinner, organised by the US-ASEAN Business Council and the US Chamber of Commerce. The strengthening of the Thai-US relations occasion was part of the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, which concludes Sunday.

Serving also as the finance minister, Srettha revealed that Biden had extended his congratulations on his assumption of the premiership. Assuring the US president of Thailand’s commitment as a steady trading partner, Srettha also expressed anticipation for the bilateral talks scheduled for November at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders’ Meeting in San Francisco.

During his visit, PM Srettha interacted with other global leaders, including the Prime Minister of Estonia, a country renowned for its advanced e-government system. He expressed interest in acquiring Estonia’s e-government expertise to enhance Thailand’s civil service system and combat corruption.

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Foreign Affairs Minister Jakkapong Sangmanee highlighted the prominence of the Sustainable Development Goals at the UN assembly. Discussions centred around overcoming obstacles to achieve the objectives by 2030.

Jakkapong shared his ministry’s plans to facilitate business matchmaking activities to encourage Thai and foreign companies to invest in green businesses, aligning with the global trend towards sustainable development.

Forming new partnerships

The government spokesperson, Chai Wacharonke, summarised PM Srettha’s speech at the gala dinner. The 61 year old prime minister expressed his delight at the opportunity to interact with prominent business leaders, reflecting the significance the American business community places on Thailand. He hoped the event would foster new partnerships that would strengthen Thai-US relations between the two economies.

In recent years, Thailand and the US have seen a significant recovery in bilateral trade following the global pandemic, surpassing US$65 billion last year and re-establishing the US as Thailand’s second-largest trading partner for the first time in 15 years. This resurgence signifies the resilient and closely interconnected supply chains that serve both countries.

Thailand also welcomed over US$1.1 billion in investment from the US last year, ranking the US third on Thailand’s investment billboard. Concurrently, Thai investment in the US has seen a surge, reaching approximately US$13 billion reported Bangkok Post.

The Bangkok-born PM emphasised his government’s commitment to reigniting Thailand’s competitiveness and positioning as a leading investment destination in the region. The government is dedicated to creating an encouraging investment climate and will strive to enhance the digitisation of government services and streamline processes for foreign investment.

Concluding his address, PM Srettha encouraged more businesses to invest in Thailand.

“Now is the time for you to do more business in Thailand.”

In a subsequent Facebook post, he expressed confidence that Thailand’s clear economic policies would drive growth and create opportunities for businesses in Thailand, ASEAN, and other countries worldwide.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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