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US ambassador meets deputy PM to discuss Thailand’s “great investment potential”

Jack Burton



US ambassador meets deputy PM to discuss Thailand’s “great investment potential” | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand
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US Ambassador to Thailand Michael George DeSombre, who raised eyebrows in May when he described the US as “a better friend than China,” has praised the kingdom’s “great investment potential”, highlighting the expansion of current projects and further support for industry as ways to promote further cooperation. Deputy PM Somkid Jatusripitak welcomed the ambassador to the open discussion amongst key trade officials.

The US Ambassador chose not to wear a facemark during the visit.

The DPM and the ambassador discussed cooperation between the 2 nations, to help strengthen the economies of both countries and promote more US investment in Thailand. The ambassador says Thailand has huge potential and suitability for US companies to invest, especially as part of the supply chain of the South East Asia region.

Somkid says DeSombre is enthusiastic about the development of mutual economic relations, revealing that the ambassador proposed ideas on what industries should receive more support from both sides.

The ambassador expressed confidence that Thailand will become a technological hub in the region, with immense growth potential in the manufacturing and service sectors, as well as stock exchanges that could connect to Hong Kong and Shenzhen.

“Thailand provides excellent medical services, an area which could be expanded to reach more clients and patients…. related agencies are ready to develop mutual exchange packages through the Board of Investment, to promote competitiveness and attract investment.”

The DPM said Thailand doesn’t need standalone investment from individual companies, but rather demands investment packages, which the ambassador says he’ll be proposing soon.

Somkid also stressed that he’s still working on the country’s domestic and international economic affairs, while declining to comment regarding the recent political developments in ruliing Palang Pracharath Party.

Thailand’s economic ministers will meet on Friday to discuss 2 main economic packages.

US ambassador meets deputy PM to discuss Thailand's


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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.



  1. Avatar

    C. Clark

    July 5, 2020 at 5:14 pm

    It’s so sad that the American ambassador exhibited the same lack of compassion and scientific understanding as the administration in Washington, D.C., when he chose not to wear a face mask when meeting with the DPM. I don’t understand how my fellow Americans can be so clueless and reckless during this pandemic.

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    Madeline Thompson

    July 5, 2020 at 5:33 pm

    Quite arrogant of the Ambassador to refuse to wear
    a mask. I’d be very wary about US economic interest
    in Thailand, agree standalone investments not a
    good idea.

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    July 5, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    What a perfect photo to capture the sentiment – the arrogant, maskless, capitalistic American shows up and yammers on about money during a pandemic, while the Thai PM walks away in his mask. The body language in the photo says it all. Get a clue, you stupid Trump appointee. I’m deeply embarrassed that this blowhard represents my homeland and is considered a “diplomat.” I don’t care what his educational credentials are, no diplomat behaves like this.

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    Michael Lewis

    July 5, 2020 at 9:57 pm

    The arrogance of this US ambassador to arrive without a mask. Put him in a glass box next time he comes.

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    July 6, 2020 at 12:08 am

    I’m an American and am embarrassed that the US Ambassador to Thailand would show up to a meeting on Thai soil with no mask, particularly with the abyssmal performance of the Trump administration regarding the coronavirus. Arrogant and disrespectful. Shameful.

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    July 6, 2020 at 3:15 am

    I agree he should have wore a mask. Whether masks are effective or not; it appears disrespectful.

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    Bob Wighton

    July 6, 2020 at 6:17 am

    More to the point, he’s expressing the notion that wearing a mask is a waste of time as there is no public transmission of the flu virus in Thailand !

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    Iain Gower

    July 6, 2020 at 7:32 am

    I agree first thing I noticed no mask how disrespectful not to understand the the rule of the country you enter.
    Sadly the fall of US dominance is happening. It is the little things that prove that.

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    July 6, 2020 at 11:37 am

    I’m American and find this disrespectful behavior just the normal pattern of this administration. I hope we return to a respect for all diplomatic administration soon.

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    Rinky Stingpiece

    July 6, 2020 at 12:18 pm

    It’s not arrogance, it’s reality. The Thai economy needs business and education investment, and not debt-trap diplomacy from the Communist Party of Peking.

    The USA is a more powerful economy, and China’s Communist leader doesn’t wear a mask. In negotiations, it’s important to see people’s faces. It would make more sense for them both to wear clear visors.

    The medical advice is that mouth masks don’t protect you from Coronavirus, the eyes are the most susceptible part of the face to infected particles from breath, but visors would do a better job, and let people see each other’s faces.

    • Avatar


      July 6, 2020 at 3:30 pm

      Sorry, but you have totally missed the point and the message i’m afraid.

      Yes, you maybe right, Thailand needs investment. But wouldn’t it send a the right signal out of pure respect to the Government of Thailand and the Deputy Prime Minister just to simply wear a mask? No different to walking into a 7/11.

      Have you watched the news lately in the US and the circus that’s unfolding while they’re trying to figure out how to still deal with the pandemic that has now isolated the US from the rest of the world?

      In 1918 the US led the way globally and were a great example to the rest of the world. I guess we have different type of leadership today……sadly

      • Avatar

        rinky stingpiece

        July 7, 2020 at 10:39 am

        No need to be afraid…

        You obviously understand that the more you test, the more you find, and that advanced countries with transparent systems have more credible data.
        This point was made by Singapore regarding their figures, and we all remember the sudden jump in China’s figures when they were doubts about them were raised.

        Educated Thais I talk to are sceptical about the figures presented in Thailand, and the true extent of infections in countries like Brazil, India, Indonesia, isn’t really known because of the lack of capacity for testing, and the lack of transparency for reportimg.
        Glibly stating that one country is doing better than another when there is stark difference in the quality and credibility of the data seems disingenuous.

        It’s also well reported by WHO, not a stooge of the USA, that face masks offer very limited protection, and it’s important to present scientifically supportable facts to inform policies.

        Both should be wearing visors because science says so, and it’s also better for business meetings.

        The right signal to be sending out is credibility. Your strange concept of “pure respect” sounds totalitarian like in North Korea.
        If there is a difference in competence between two countries, “pure respect” would be inappropriate. This notion of “pure respect” sounds like Chinese Communist language, and not the language of normal friendly diplomacy, where “mutual respect” is more normal.

        A business meeting between two national representatives is not remotely like walking into a 7/11, unless you have experience of such high level meetings.

        They can both just have a test before the meeting and meet normally, and that’s the message that should go out.

        There’s no “we” here, I’m not American (or Chinese). The current leadership of America has flaws, but the one prior to it was also flawed and catastrophically ineffective.
        Your comment about the US being “isolated from the rest of the world” sounds hysterical and fatuous. I know plenty of travel and business still taking place with the USA, and of course it’s a far better country than one that sterilises whole ethnic groups, illegally occupies marine territory, and breaks treaties to impose fascist and economically destructive laws on one of its territories… those sort of policies tend to isolate countries.

        1918 has nothing to do with it. The many outbreaks of related illnesses from China since the Communist Party took over have more of an epidemiological connection to this outbreak.

  11. Avatar


    July 6, 2020 at 3:35 pm

    This is an absolute travesty!! It just shows total disrespect, arrogance and ignorance and distances the US from yet another ally!!

  12. Avatar

    Clyde James

    July 7, 2020 at 12:29 am

    Get past the silly yammering about wearing a face mask, yes the American ambassador made a mistake giving the left-wing media and critics something to focus on other than the extremely important offer he is making for Thailand to replace Hong Kong as the technological hub in Southeast Asia for the manufacturing and service sectors, as well as stock exchanges that connect free world capitalist systems to China via Shenzhen.
    Free world countries are rapidly placing sanctions against China and Hong Kong leaders, banks, and corporations that support CCP’s forceful implementation of “Hong Kongs New Security Law”. Hong Kong as an autonomous democratic separate system is doomed and is destined to become just another communist governed Chinese city. It will die a rather dramatic death as the fading jewel of capitalism that had once flourished and grown to glorious heights of capitalistic prominence as the interface between communist governed business enterprise and capitalist governed business enterprise.
    The American Ambassadors’ offer is heartfelt and genuine. He is openly stating our corporations and banking system are not going to remain in CCP governed territory, we have chosen Thailand as the country to replace Hong Kong as an interface with Shenzhen China. How notable it is that the significance of this offer goes unpublicized by the left-wing news media and the comments they chose to print. This comment will simply find the dust bin, while comment about the arrogant American Ambassador did not wear a face mask are used to distract readers from the significant issue before the PM.

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