Thai PM in talks at Mekong-Lancang video conference

Photo courtesy of Pattaya Mail

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin catapulted Thailand into the heart of Mekong-Lancang Cooperation (MLC) during the 4th Leaders’ Meeting on December 25, seizing the virtual stage with an unprecedented proposal for a shared future of peace and prosperity.

Government Spokesperson Chai Wacharonke set the tone, declaring the event under the theme, Join Hands on the Building of a Community of Shared Future and Modernisation among Mekong-Lancang Countries.

The Thai PM, attending for the first time via video conference, applauded MLC for its notable progress across all fronts. Srettha thanked China for its continued support to the MLC Special Fund, acknowledging its positive impact on the livelihoods and quality of life in Thailand and the Mekong sub-region.

The Bangkok-born PM then unleashed a three-fold strategy, the Advancement of Three Futures, aiming to propel MLC towards a common goal. First on the agenda, the prime minister urged intensified cooperation in physical connectivity, endorsing the Landbridge project as the linchpin of Thailand’s infrastructure strategy, inviting China’s pivotal role. The ambitious project aims to connect the Gulf of Thailand with the Indian Ocean, creating a global gateway for the sub-region.

In a bid to tackle non-traditional security issues, the 61 year old PM stressed the need for concerted efforts against transnational crime, human trafficking, and online scams. The call extended to mitigating the impacts of climate change and enhancing water resources management. The prime minister proposed a clean air initiative and advocated cooperation between the Mekong-Lancang Water Resources Cooperation Center and the Mekong River Commission Secretariat.

The third frontier in Srettha’s vision focused on creating new growth opportunities. Emphasising support for the MLC innovation corridor, he aimed to foster an ecosystem conducive to innovation, sustainable growth, and green transformation. The PM pledged to double intra-MLC tourism in the next two years, promoting regional tourism while prioritising safety and consular protection, reported Pattaya Mail.

Collaboration with member countries

Closing with a call for collaboration, the Thai PM, as the new Co-Chair, expressed readiness to work closely with all Mekong-Lancang Member Countries. The goal: advancing the subregion’s development and realising the Mekong-Lancang Community of a shared future.

Originating from Thailand’s 2012 initiative, MLC encompasses three cooperation frameworks and five areas of collaboration. The 4th MLC Leaders’ Meeting concluded with the adoption of three crucial outcome documents, including the Nay Pyi Taw Declaration, the Five-Year Plan of Action on Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (2023 to 2027), and Joint Initiatives on the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Innovation Corridor Development.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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