Burma

Thailand, US Agree to Boost Ties

By The Bangkok Post 11 July 2022

Thailand and the United States on Sunday agreed to strengthen cooperation and advance their partnership as both nations prepare to mark the 190th anniversary of their ties next year.

Trade and investment, climate change, clean energy, human trafficking and regional support and cooperation were among the top items discussed during a meeting between Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday.

Blinken paid a courtesy call on Prayut at Government House after arriving in Bangkok for an official visit.

Blinken and Foreign Affairs Minister Don Pramudwinai signed two agreements to strengthen ties: the Thailand-United States Communique on Strategic Alliance and Partnership and a Memorandum of Understanding on Promoting Supply Chain Resilience.

In a press briefing on the talks, Thai government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said Prayut had expressed delight at the relationship between the countries, which will celebrate 190 years of diplomatic ties next year.

The premier welcomed the signing of the communique and said it will help the nations work more closely to achieve shared objectives, Thanakorn said.

Prayut also conveyed his best wishes to US President Joe Biden and thanked the US leader for the invitation to the US-Asean Special Summit in Washington in May, he said. The prime minister expects to welcome Biden at the Apec summit in Bangkok in November, Thanakorn said.

Meanwhile, Blinken told the prime minister that the joint communique reaffirms the Thai-US alliance and he believes it will lay the foundations of relations for the next 190 years, Thanakorn said.

Blinken also stressed that Washington attaches great importance to tightening Thai relations and praised Prayut for Thailand’s role in hosting Apec meetings, he said.

Both countries hope benefits from the signing of the supply chain MoU will bear fruit soon especially in terms of expanded investments and those supporting the government’s Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) economic model, the spokesman said.

On human trafficking, the Thai government reaffirmed its commitment to deal with the issue and noted that it has made it a national agenda item to curb the practice, while the US expressed admiration for the country’s efforts in stamping out human trafficking, he said.

The US also said its annual Trafficking in Persons Report, issued by the US State Department, will be released soon and hoped Thailand will receive good news, he said.

Thailand was demoted to the Tier 2 Watch List from Tier 2 in last year’s TIP report. The government hopes it will be upgraded this year for addressing problems mentioned in last year’s report. Thanakorn said both sides agreed to support each other at the sub-regional and regional levels.

Thailand joined the US’ multilateral trade agreement, known as the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, because it aims to support economic recovery and sustainable development in the region, he said.

This article first appeared in The Bangkok Post.

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