Date(s) - 23/06/2022
13:00 - 15:00
Last week, Asia House and the Embassy of Thailand co-hosted a luncheon and talk on “Thailand and ASEAN in Transition”. The keynote speaker, HE Sihasak Phuangketkeow, is the former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, and current Advisor for Foreign Affairs at the Office of Eastern Economic Corridor of Thailand.
During an enlightening discourse at Asia House, Ambassador Sihasak discussed the positioning of Thailand and ASEAN in an increasingly polarised world. In the face of Russian aggression, Europe and the West are eager to strengthen alliances with Asia, but just how the nations will cooperate on such issues as geo-politics, security and trade remains to be solidified. Issues such as the junta in Myanmar and how Europe will proceed there, as well as the importance of maintaining positive relations with China, hang in the balance. Further complicating the situation are US President Biden’s recent comments about the world being in a struggle between democracy and autocracy, which have been perceived by some nations as potentially divisive – whether the Asian countries identify as democracies or as having shared values may serve to complicate matters when discussing alliances.
Ambassador Sihasak has extensive experience with policy matters related to ASEAN, having served as Thailand’s representative on the High-Level Task Force which drafted the ASEAN charter and having twice headed the Thai delegation to the Senior ASEAN Officials Meeting.
Mr Sihasak highlighted the importance of the Thai economy and investing in Thailand. The Easter Economic Corridor (EEC) has specific focus on seven geographical zones within Thailand across 12 industries, including health and wellbeing, digital, logistics, decarbonisation, and education and human resource development.
See the attached materials if you are interested in learning more about the EEC initiative.