Summit 'will strengthen ties'
The upcoming 35th Asean Summit will allow Thailand to enhance the bloc's centrality and strengthen ties with its partners, the Foreign Ministry announced on Friday.
Suriya Chindawongse, the director-general of the Department of Asean Affairs, said Thailand will use the 35th Asean Summit starting early next month to strengthen sustainable partnerships with the outside world.
"I would like to thank the World Bank for its independent study to help synergise the Master Plan on Asean Connectivity 2025 with China's Belt and Road Initiative, Japan's infrastructure plan, India's Act East Policy, and the US's Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development Act," he told reporters yesterday.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, and Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang are among the leaders who will join the three-day summit starting on Nov 2, according to Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai.
Mr Suriya said Asean will move forward the Asean Outlook on the Indo-Pacific announced at the 34th Asean Summit in June.
"I stress that it is an outlook, not a strategy. The bloc will discuss projects and cooperation with Indo-Pacific countries.
As we support rules-based principles, we are waiting for confirmation from countries interested in being signatories of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation," he said.
Meanwhile, Auramon Supthaweethum, the director-general of the Department of Trade Negotiations, expressed confidence that the Regional Comprehensive Strategic Partnership will be concluded by the end of this year.
"I believe that it is possible. Sixteen countries are making all-out efforts to strike the deal in the face of a volatile world economy.
''The RCEP has been negotiated for seven years. We don't want to forfeit the opportunity and our announced commitment," she said.