Oct 17, 2012

Thailand - Thailand ready to become regional leader in energy, food

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Thailand is ready to play a leading role in making Asia better-connected in terms of energy and food security, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra told delegates at the opening of the Asian Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) in Kuwait yesterday.

Yingluck, who was received by Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah IV Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, told delegates from 32 countries that since the European economic crisis was affecting Asia, the formation of the Asean Economic Community was timely and reflected the region's commitment to expand economic cooperation. She also said that Thailand welcomed Afghanistan as the newest ACD state.

The leader also said that better connectivity in the region would strengthen trade and investment, though standards and regulations in the region had to be unified.

Yingluck also cited the Trans-Asian Railway and the Trans-Siberian Railway as ways of connecting Asia and compared the links to the new Silk Road. The premier said the ACD could also play a key role in strengthening cooperation in finance, tourism and human-development sectors among member countries.

As for food security, Yingluck said Thailand was well placed to become the kitchen of the world and was looking for partners both within and outside the ACD. According to Yingluck, the Asean+3 platform strengthened emergency rice reserves in the region and led to an exchange in technology and logistics in dealing with food waste.

As for energy, Yingluck said it was closely related to food security, which could be achieved if energy security can be guaranteed. Yingluck also urged the ACD to come up with a clear strategy to deal with the changing situation in the world and said Thailand was ready to host future summits.

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