PM praises Phuket to Apec ministers

PHUKET: Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra praised Phuket in his keynote address to delegates attending the opening session of the 10th Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Finance Ministers’ Meeting today. “Apart from attending this Apec meeting, I hope you will also have the opportunity to experience some Thai culture and the astounding beauty of Phuket, Thailand’s largest and most renowned island,” he told the regional economic summit, being held amid tight security at the Sheraton Grande Laguna Phuket resort. “Phuket is widely known as the Pearl of the Andaman Sea. Typical of Southern Thailand, the island is blessed with a lush tropical landscape, which, I believe, creates a delightful ambience for this truly memorable occasion.” About 2,000 people, half of them media representatives and security staff, gathered at the hotel for the first of two days of deliberations among financial heads of the 21-member Apec grouping. In some cases, participants were screened twice or even three times amid intense checking by Special Branch police from Bangkok as well as security officers accompanying the visiting ministers in Phuket. Traffic on the island was brought briefly to a standstill along some routes as motorcades carried the delegates around on their agenda for the day. In his speech, PM Thaksin noted the need for close regional synergy and worldwide cooperation in the face of non-traditional threats such as terrorism, drug trafficking and the emergence of epidemic diseases such as Sars. “These new non-traditional threats have the potential to destroy or disrupt, in an instant, the economic confidence of a nation, a region or even the whole world,” he said. He called on the Apec members to adopt a proposal for a region-wide Asian Bond as a new instrument to damp the severity of cycles of change in the economic life of member countries. The Prime Minister, who was introduced by Thailand’s Minister of Finance, Suchart Jaovisidha, returned to Bangkok soon after his speech. Tomorrow, after more talks, the Finance Ministers will go to the Blue Canyon Country Club to be photographed wearing silk shirts, the traditional close to Apec conferences. The heads of government of the Apec economies arrive for a summit meeting in Bangkok next month.

Phuket News

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