PM targets student, tech swap
BUSAN: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha wants to boost education and cultural exchanges between Thailand and South Korea by increasing the number of participants in exchange programmes between the two countries.
At the Mekong-Republic of Korea (ROK) Commemorative Summit, Gen Prayut said that people should be at the centre of development planning in the Mekong Basin, which covers Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
All of these countries are ready "to give their full support to economic and social development agendas in the region in a sustainable way", he said.
Gen Prayut said he asked South Korean President Moon Jae-in to help bolster human resource development under the South Korean-Thai educational cooperation programme, by increasing the exchange student quota by 20% per year. "Their numbers should double in the next five years," he said.
The call was welcomed by Seoul, which said it wants to help Mekong countries attain prosperity akin to South Korea's post-war expansion, dubbed the "Miracle on the Han River".
Thailand and South Korea will mark the 10th anniversary of their educational and cultural exchanges in 2021.
Gen Prayut also said that South Korea should share experiences and expertise from its technology-driven economy with Mekong Basin countries: "We need South Korea's support to improve digital literacy in the Mekong Basin so we can compete in the global job market."
He also highlighted what he called "a new threat to regional security" -- environmental issues. "[South Korea] can help us brace for droughts and floods which may be caused by climate change, as they also have modern geo-informatics technology."