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PM vows support for terror fight

Posted by pakin On November - 19 - 2015

MANILA – Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is to pledge in a speech Thursday to join international efforts to fight cross-border terrorism and also vow to carry out domestic structural reform to support regional economic growth.

In a speech the prime minister is due to deliver at the 23rd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) leaders’ summit, Gen Prayut will say he is saddened about the recent attacks in Paris and pledges to cooperate with the international community to counter terrorists.

“The Royal Thai Government and the Thai people strongly condemn this heinous act and stand with the international community to fight against terrorism,” he will say.

According to an Apec source, the leaders are planning to jointly condemn the deadly Paris and Beirut attacks and the recent bomb attack on a Russian passenger jet over the Sinai, in Egypt, which killed all 224 people on board.

In the initial draft declaration, the leaders were set to denounce the Paris attacks as a threat to their economies and call for united action to fight threat.

“Terrorism threatens our vision of free, open and prosperous economies and fundamental values that we hold. We stand in solidarity with the people of France [the Beirut bombing and Russian plane blast were added later] and all victims of terrorism elsewhere.

“These atrocities demand a united voice from the global community. We reaffirm our strong collective resolve to counter terrorism,” according to the draft which will be concluded Thursday before the summit ends.

On economic issues, Gen Prayut plans to say Thailand supports economic integration and building inclusive growth in the bloc, while also welcoming the conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact.

However, the premier urged Apec members to speed up a free-trade agreement for the Asia-Pacific, saying all economies can achieve free trade with strong political will, in spite of being at different stages of development.

Domestically, Gen Prayut says Thailand needs to reform its economy, aiming to better support Apec economic cooperation.

“My government is committed to structural reform in all areas, with priority given to three main areas, namely anti-corruption, SMEs and social protection,” he will tell his counterparts.

To support regional economic growth, Thailand has launched several projects, including the “Thailand Plus One” economic model, special economic zones and super cluster economic zones, a new project involving high technology and modern manufacturing sectors.

The premier will also extend support for human resources development, increasing the abilities of workers, and ensuring gender equality and equal opportunities for people with disabilities.

Gen Prayut on Wednesday held talks with his Papua New Guinea counterpart Peter O’Neill on the sidelines of the leaders’ meeting.

He thanked Mr O’Neill for his country’s support as an importer of Thai rice and agreed the two countries should expand  cooperation, said Thai government deputy spokesman Maj Gen Werachon Sukondhapatipak.

Gen Prayut assured Mr O’Neill of the quality of Thai rice while the Papua New Guinea premier asked Thailand to provide experts to help his country develop rice farming. The leaders looked forward to closer cooperation on rice and fishing.

Papua New Guinea has abundant marine resources while Thailand has expertise in fishing, so cooperation in this field will benefit both countries, Maj Gen Werachon said.

The Thai premier also met Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos. Gen Prayut said Bangkok sees Bogota as a key economic partner which can be a “bridge linking Thailand with other Latin American countries”, Maj Gen Werachon said.

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