Top Thai diplomats convene at forum to strategise foreign policy

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

Foreign Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-nukara yesterday inaugurated a forum for top-ranking diplomats. The forum’s objective is to navigate foreign policy to protect and promote the nation’s interests amidst a progressively divided world.

Held in Bangkok, the annual forum concludes on November 24, with 97 Thai ambassadors, consuls-general, charges d’affaires, heads of Thai permanent missions and trade representatives in attendance.

In his preliminary address, Parnpree declared the forum’s intention to familiarise senior diplomats with the government’s foreign policy. The forum also serves as a brainstorming platform for executives to devise work plans for 2024 and 2025.

Key topics of discussion include proactive economic diplomacy, trade, the growth of soft power, the land bridge megaproject, the green industry and carbon neutrality policy. The discussions will involve agencies from both the public and private sectors. The insights gained will guide diplomats in driving foreign policy initiatives and achieving tangible results.

The foreign minister expressed his hopes that the forum would guide Thailand in deciding its positioning in a divided world to optimally protect national interests. He emphasised the need for a proactive approach beyond routine tasks to achieve tangible and concrete results.

Parnpree expressed his faith in proactive economic diplomacy as the government’s tool to drive economic growth and promote well-being among the people.

“Thai people are more aware of foreign affairs, so ambassadors and consuls-general must work fast and be more flexible. I’ve confidence in their knowledge, capabilities and professionalism in driving proactive diplomacy.”

First forum since 2016

The forum, the first of its kind since 2016, is being conducted under the theme of proactive diplomacy in the polarised world. It covers several issues throughout the week.

Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs Sarun Charoensuwan, stated that the forum embodies the government’s efforts to protect and advance national interests in an increasingly divided and competitive world. The forum will also highlight the diverse issues requiring attention through effective foreign policy.

The forum will cover the rescue of Thais in Laukkaing in northern Myanmar, the creative economy and soft power promotion in southern China, the evacuation of Thai workers in the Israel-Hamas conflict, and the Thai-US relationship.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin is slated to elaborate on policy, concluding the day with a brainstorming session on challenges and opportunities for Thailand in the international arena.

Topics on tomorrow’s agenda include the revival of the Saudi Arabian market, the emerging African market, connectivity and collaboration in the Mekong subregion, and the Thai entertainment industry in Mexico and Peru. Senior diplomats will discuss border trade with border province governors.

On November 23, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Commerce Ministry and the Board of Investment will present their proactive economic diplomacy objectives to Srettha.

Minister of Commerce

Commerce Minister Phumtham Wechayachai announced that overseas commercial counsellors would participate in a workshop by representatives from the Thai Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Thai Industries, the Thai Bankers’ Association, and the Thai National Shippers Council, reported Bangkok Post.

Phumtham also guided the permanent secretary and directors-general to implement the prime minister’s policies. Overseas commercial counsellors and provincial commercial officials will meet on December 1 to prepare details for submission to the Premier on policy implementation.

Phumtham added that the Ministry has been in discussion with Chinese trade officials across various provinces regarding trade cooperation.

Bangkok NewsPolitics NewsThailand News

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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