Thailand and France forge future partnerships

Photo courtesy of The Nation

Thailand Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin and France President Emmanuel Macron united in Paris, pledging to fortify relations spanning diverse domains and to invigorate a symbiotic alliance between their nations.

During a joint press conference, Macron accentuated the importance of economic collaboration and trade synergies, emphasising proactive preparation for forthcoming challenges in Southeast Asia. He articulated the pivotal role of robust bilateral ties in evolving into multilateral alliances, crucial for fostering global peace and stability.

Expressing gratitude for the gracious reception, PM Srettha, who is also the finance minister, congratulated France on clinching the hosting rights for the 2024 Summer Olympics. He hailed the longstanding historical rapport between the two nations, underscoring shared ideologies and governance visions that have endured for over three centuries.

As the 340th anniversary of the initial Siam-France contact looms in 2025 and the 170th anniversary of diplomatic relations approaches in 2026, the Thai PM championed the bond forged by mutual advocacy for democracy, human rights, and humanitarian endeavours.

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Both leaders echoed concordant stances on upholding global peace, with Thailand’s pivotal role in the ASEAN region under the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific complementing the EU Strategy for Indo-Pacific cooperation, led by France. They affirmed that collaborative efforts, rooted in respect for sovereignty and international laws, hold the key to resolving contemporary conflicts.

The Bangkok-born Srettha elucidated on Thailand Vision 2030, aspiring to position the nation as a regional industrial powerhouse across key sectors. Extending an olive branch to France, he proposed collaborative ventures in automotive manufacturing, aviation, logistics, and renewable energy.

Sustainable growth

Commending the Paris Pact for People and the Planet, the 62 year old PM aligned Thailand’s low-carbon aspirations with the 4P Initiative, aiming to bolster private capital for sustainable growth. He optimistically anticipated a surge in mutual trade and investment upon the conclusion of Thailand-EU Free Trade Agreement negotiations.

Eager to meld fashion and culture, Thailand aims to collaborate with French institutes to elevate Thai silk and fabrics and showcase Thai designs in French markets and prestigious events like the Cannes Film Festival.

In the realm of defence, PM Srettha proposed joint investments and technology transfers to position Thailand as the nucleus for military equipment production and maintenance in the region, reported The Nation.

Highlighting the substantial French community in Thailand and the burgeoning tourism exchanges, the Thai prime minister urged for Schengen visa exemptions to amplify tourist flows between the two nations.

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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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