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Thailand has expressed its support for the development of an ASEAN Business Travel Card to ease the movement of ASEAN business people and investors.
In the weekly program “Yingluck Government Meets the People,” broadcast on the National Broadcasting Services of Thailand (NBT) and Radio Thailand on 27 April 2013, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra spoke about her participation in the 22nd ASEAN Summit in Brunei Darussalam on 24-25 April.
She said that ASEAN connectivity was one of major topics of discussion at the summit. Concerning the ASEAN Business Travel Card, she said, the concept was proposed by Brunei Darussalam, as Chairman of the 22nd ASEAN Summit.
The Prime Minister was of the opinion that it would facilitate travel among investors within the region and accelerate ASEAN connectivity. Thailand has already introduced exclusive “ASEAN Lanes” at Suvarnabhumi International Airport for ASEAN nationals.
Visa-free travel in Asean and Asean immigration lanes
ASEAN leaders called for support for the establishment of visa-free travel in ASEAN countries for ASEAN nationals and ASEAN immigration lanes. They also acknowledged the continued efforts in considering the proposal for an ASEAN Common Visa for non-ASEAN nationals that will facilitate business mobility and tourism.
Prime Minister Yingluck stated that, when the ASEAN Community is in place in 2015, other countries are likely to become more interested in investing in this region.
The question is how all ASEAN partners should work together as a family to promote investment.
Cooperation in boosting connectivity and reducing various gaps within the region will be needed
On the part of Thailand, she said, Thailand proposed the two-trillion-baht investment in infrastructure mega-projects. This concept involves ASEAN connectivity, linking Thailand with neighboring countries. As for connectivity under the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT), there are three projects being studied. They include the development of the Na Klua port in Trang province, the development of a logistics center in Thung Song district of Nakhon Si Thammarat province, and the construction of a motorway from Hat Yai to Sadao in Songkhla province.
As ASEAN approaches to the establishment of the ASEAN Community, the Prime Minister said that a high-level task force would be set up to review and make recommendations on ways to strengthen all ASEAN organs in helping ASEAN Member States to fully implement their commitments to realize the ASEAN Community and to better prepare ASEAN to meet the challenges of the future.
Regarding the situation in the South China Sea, the Prime Minister said that, Thailand, as the coordinator of ASEAN-China relations, proposed to host a dialogue to ensure the peaceful resolution of disputes in the South China Sea, taking into account the importance of the 10th anniversary of the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership in 2013.