Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak on Thursday voiced moral support for Hong Kong's embattled chief executive Carrie Lam, saying the semi-autonomous region of China remains full of potential despite ongoing protests.
In his keynote speech at a forum on the future of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area held in Hong Kong which Ms Lam also attended, Mr Somkid said he was participating in the event for two purposes.
The first was to give moral support to Ms Lam, a close and respected friend, while Hong Kong experiences difficult times with social conflict as had also happened in the past in Thailand.
"Thais including myself are confident in the potential of Hong Kong and believe Hong Kong will soon recover. Thailand will be a true friend and always support Hong Kong."
The second purpose, he said, is to strengthen relations between Thailand and the Greater Bay Area.
"We perceive that in the past three years the political and economic climate of the world has not been bright because US policy has affected the global order, both politically and economically, and the issues have not been settled over the short term," he said.
"The trade war has affected world trade which enjoyed continued growth in the past and helped upgrade [people's] living standards in developing countries," he added.
However, he said the economic slowdown in the past two years where many Asian countries have been struggling to maintain economic growth, also could offer new opportunities.
"We could see positive change toward closer cooperation in Asia since many countries have experienced delicate issues and implemented serious reform to strengthen their competitiveness," he said.