Thailand and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) hope to enhance economic outcomes by collaborating in a Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) economy transition, according to Pornpimol Kanchanalak, Adviser to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand.
At a seminar hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs titled "Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) Economy: Pathways to Enhanced Partnerships between Thailand and Latin America and the Caribbean", Ms Pornpimol said Thailand's BCG economy accounts for 21% (3 trillion baht) of the total Thai GDP. It is expected to grow further in the next half-decade under the collaboration between Thailand and LAC along the BCG transition.
The BCG economy includes agriculture, food, medical, welfare, bioenergy biomaterial, biochemical, tourism, and creative economies.
She said the increase in the BCG economy's GDP share would create more job opportunities in the industrial sector. The growth would be enhanced by collaboration with the LAC, which focuses more on the BCG economy.
"The LAC's 'green transition trend' has excellent potential. The trend is expected to bring 10.5% more new jobs to the region by 2030" and "generate environmental, social, and economic benefits that further drive development," she said.
"Through cooperation with the LAC, Thailand could be a hub connecting natural resource supply chains from the region to Southeast Asia."
With Latin America holding 58% of the world's lithium resources, she said Thailand could serve as a hub for lithium supplies and collaborate with Argentina, Bolivia and Chile to advance clean energy industries.
Lithium is an essential component of lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles and other renewable energy applications. This is also consistent with the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) policy, which aims to pilot a net zero carbon emission area for investment in decarbonisation industries such as electric vehicles and renewable energy.
Aside from trade partnerships, the Thai and LAC private and public sectors can collaborate on "technology transfer and the exchange of best practices for a sustainable and profitable business", such as advocating for renewable resources, biotechnology, and the circular economy to reduce waste and generate zero waste, she said.