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.
Supporting disadvantaged women key to achieving SDGs in ASEAN
The study, which holds a gender lens up to each of the SDGs of the 2030 Agenda, confirms that when two or more forms of discrimination overlap, barriers increase
JAKARTA, 1 March 2021 – Women and girls across South-East Asia who are members of an ethnic minority, live in a rural location, or suffer from poverty are at greatest risk of being left behind despite the region’s recent progress in gender equality, according to a new report by ASEAN and UN Women.
Has Covid-19 prompted the Belt and Road Initiative to go green?
– Chinese overseas investment dropped off in 2020
– Government remains committed to the wide-ranging infrastructure programme
– Sustainability, health and digital to be the new cornerstones of the initiative
Following a year of coronavirus-related disruptions, China appears to be placing a greater focus on sustainable, digital and health-related projects in its flagship Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
As OBG outlined in April last year, the onset of Covid-19 prompted questions about the future direction of the BRI.
Launched in 2013, the BRI is an ambitious international initiative that aims to revive ancient Silk Road trade routes through large-scale infrastructure development.
By the start of 2020 some 2951 BRI-linked projects – valued at a total of $3.9trn – were planned or under way across the world.
However, as borders closed and lockdowns were imposed, progress stalled on a number of major BRI infrastructure developments.
In June China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that 30-40% of BRI projects had been affected by the virus, while a further 20% had been “seriously affected”. Restrictions on the flow of Chinese workers and construction supplies were cited as factors behind project suspensions or slowdowns in Pakistan, Cambodia and Indonesia, among other countries.
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