Growth summit looks beyond pandemic

Growth summit looks beyond pandemic

Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha emphasised the need to transform the tourism, agriculture, and halal industries at the 13th Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) Summit.

Government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said Gen Prayut yesterday delivered a statement via video at the summit held online.

Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Asean Secretary-General Dato Lim Jock Hoi, and ADB president Masatsugu Asakawa also attended.

Gen Prayut urged the three nations to focus on their tourism, agriculture, and halal industries in their post-Covid recovery efforts while building IMT-GT cooperation.

In the case of Thailand, he said the government has put in place a series of economic stimulus and social protection packages to help the economy get back on its feet.

Also, to pave the way for the country's re-opening, Thailand has been welcoming fully vaccinated tourists to enter the country without quarantine under the "Phuket Sandbox" scheme and the "Samui Plus" model since July.

For agriculture, the PM suggested the three countries should put more effort into high-value agricultural and agro-processed commodities rather than focusing on increasing agricultural productivity.

For the halal industry, he said it is important that IMT-GT strengthen halal certification to gain acceptance from the global halal market.

Measures to enhance competitiveness in the halal industry, such as empowering halal SMEs and creating a conducive environment where they can flourish, are also needed.

In closing, Gen Prayut said that in addition to the Vision 2036 and member countries' development priorities, the work of IMT-GT must align with the United Nations' sustainable development goals, which cover three dimensions of development -- economic, social, and environmental.

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