Thai prime minister set to meet world leaders at APEC summit in San Francisco

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin is set to meet US President Joe Biden among other world leaders at the 2023 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in San Francisco.

Discussions on a broad spectrum of issues are projected to take place today during their meeting at the APEC Summit dinner.

In addition to the US president, the 61 year old prime minister’s agenda includes meetings with Gina Raimondo, the United States Commerce Secretary. International counterparts such as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Anthony Albanese, the Australian Prime Minister, and President Dina Boluarte of Peru are also on the list for bilateral talks aimed at boosting cooperation and ties.

Earlier in the week, the Thai prime minister attended a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. The Thai premier reassured Kishida that despite Thailand’s shift towards electric vehicles (EV), the country would not abandon Japanese production of vehicles with internal combustion engines (ICE).

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Kishida highlighted the significance of the automaking industry, pledging to further develop this sector in Thailand. According to PM Srettha, the two countries have in principle agreed on a visa-free policy for businesspeople which would facilitate travel, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would look into the details.

The Thailand prime minister has also accepted an invitation from the Japanese premier to attend the ASEAN-Japan summit in Tokyo, scheduled for December 16 to 18.

PM’s APEC agenda

During his visit to the summit, The Bangkok-born Thai PM met with executives and representatives from major US corporations including Tesla, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google, Microsoft, and Citigroup. Discussion points included the Land Bridge megaproject, which received support from Citigroup representatives.

PM Srettha revealed government plans to host a dinner for Microsoft executives visiting Thailand early next year, with Thai businesses also invited to promote business matching and strengthen digital development in the country.

The Thai prime minister’s visit also included a tour of a Boeing exhibition, where an unmanned helicopter predicted to be commercially available in seven to eight years was showcased.

At the APEC CEO Summit 2023, The prime minister gave a speech to business leaders, emphasising that Thailand is open for investment and highlighting the Land Bridge megaproject, reported Bangkok Post.

Kazuya Nashida, the Japanese ambassador, assured that both the Japanese public and private sectors are ready to collaborate with the Thai government under PM Srettha’s leadership, according to Thai trade representative Narumon Pinyosinwat.

After she met with Nashida, Narumon revealed that the ambassador proposed that Thailand should be a production hub of vehicles of various engines during the transition to the EV industry, aligning with Japan’s Green Growth Strategy.

The Japanese ambassador further emphasised Japan’s interest in investing in various industries including AI, biotechnology, modern agriculture, and clean energy.

Narumon added that Japan’s strategy aligns with the Thai government’s plan to promote a green economy and clean energy, with Japan also supporting renewable energy in the hopes of clean energy adoption in the manufacturing sector.

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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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