Prayut touts Thailand's growth trend
On the sidelines of the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha expressed confidence Thailand will become a high-income nation in 17 years.
"By 2036, Thailand will become a high-income country with fairness, respect for basic human rights, and participation of all sectors of society," he said.
The premier made the remarks during a speech about Thailand's perspective on the evolving international landscape at the Asia Society in New York on Wednesday.
In his speech, Gen Prayut said he has laid the foundation for development over the past five years and moved the country forward under the leadership of an elected government.
Gen Prayut also said Southeast Asia -- which is a part of the United States' Indo-Pacific strategy -- is a region of opportunity.
"It has a high working-age population, above-average economic growth, and the region itself is manufacturing hub," he said.
"Accordingly, Thailand is promoting partnerships for sustainability among Asean members and its external partners, which will strengthen its own position."
At the event, Gen Prayut also affirmed Thai-US ties, which has spanned over 200 years.
"Thailand is proud to be a friend and contracting party to the US. Our relationship is based on security and benefits for us and the region. On behalf of the government, I pledge to maintain close ties with the US in this challenging world," he said.
During his speech, an attendee raised a placard in protest against the premier before she was asked to leave the venue.
The protester was later revealed by a Facebook post written by anti-regime activist Nuttaa Mahattana as activist Nachacha Kongudom, who was granted asylum and is now studying in the US.
At another event, at a dinner hosted by the US-Asean Business Council (USABC) and the US Chamber of Commerce, Gen Prayut said all Asean members must move forward together and leave no one behind.
As the current chair of Asean, Gen Prayut said Thailand will push for an immediate conclusion to the RCEP negotiations and improved connectivity through infrastructure and capacity-building projects.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Busadee Santipitaks said Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai held bilateral talks with his Bulgarian and Romanian counterparts.
"He spoke with Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva [in the morning]. They agreed to find ways to deepen engagement and boost trade," she said.
"He also talked with Romanian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ramona Nicole Manescu to find ways to improve trade. Last year, our trade volume was worth US$302 million. In the first eight months of this year, it totalled $250 million. It expands from year to year," she said.