Japan and China have shown their readiness to send experts to help Thailand in flood management in the long run. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra met leaders of the two countries at the ASEAN summit and related summits, held in Indonesia on November 17-19.
In her meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, Prime Minister Yingluck had requested technical assistance from Japan to tackle the flood problem on a sustainable basis. The Japanese Prime Minister reaffirmed Japan’s support for long-term flood management in Thailand, saying that Japan was still confident in Thailand’s potential and would continue its investment in the country.
Prime Minister Yingluck told her Japanese counterpart that the Thai government had prepared relief and recovery measures for flood-hit people and businesses. Since many Japanese factories have been affected by this flood, she gave her assurance that the Government would provide full assistance to Japanese investors and bring about quick recovery.
For instance, it would help repair damaged machinery and expand benefits for investment promotion, such as import tax exemption for machines to replace the damaged ones. Thailand would also facilitate visa and work permit applications for foreign experts who would assist in the rehabilitation of damaged factories.
In the 14th ASEAN-Japan Summit, Prime Minister Yingluck called for close regional cooperation in disaster management, as disasters had caused difficulties to not only the people but also the economy as a whole. She thanked Japan for its support for linking the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center, located in Thailand, with the Asian Disaster Reduction Center in Japan, which would be useful for the region.
During her meeting with Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, Prime Minister Yingluck was told that China was willing to offer a helping hand to Thailand, especially in terms of technical cooperation to ease the flooding. The Chinese Prime Minister believed that Thailand would overcome the impacts of the current flooding, the most severe in the nation’s history.
Prime Minister Yingluck thanked China for various forms of assistance extended to Thailand during this flood crisis. She also briefed her counterpart on Thailand’s measures to tackle the problem. For instance, she had asked the working group appointed to deal with the flooding to work with Chinese experts on long-term water management.