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Thailand takes over the ASEAN chair for 2019

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Thailand has taken over the ‘chair’ of ASEAN from Singapore, who has hosted the regional bloc for the past 12 months. The short ceremony took place yesterday following the two day ASEAN summit. The chairmanship is shared equally around the 10 member states of the south east asian trade and geo-political bloc.

Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha received the symbolic gavel from Singapore’s Lee Hsien Loong. The actual chairmanship formally starts on January 1, 2019.

Gen Prayut says Thailand’s key priorities will include boosting connectivity in infrastructure, simplifying red tape and people-to-people links to make borders around ASEAN more transparent.

Prayut also called on all ASEAN member countries to “collaborate even more closely” on the principles of mutual trust, mutual respect and mutual benefit.

Thailand last held the position of ASEAN host in 2008.

The Thai PM also unveiled the theme of nest year’s chairmanship, ‘Advancing Partnership for Sustainability’. The ceremony concluded the 33rd ASEAN Summit at the Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

 

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