Thailand will further strengthen trade ties with the United States as the two countries mark 190 years of diplomatic relations, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said.
He was speaking after a meeting with US President Joe Biden at a gala dinner hosted by the US-Asean Business Council (USABC) and the US Chamber of Commerce (USCC) on Wednesday (US local time).
The Thai delegation led by Mr Srettha is attending the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA78) in New York, which will end on Sunday.
Mr Srettha, who also serves as finance minister, said Mr Biden congratulated him on assuming the premiership and that he assured the US president Thailand would remain a steady trading partner.
The two sides are expected to hold bilateral talks on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Leaders' Meeting in San Francisco in November, the prime minister said.
Mr Srettha also met with other foreign leaders, such as the prime minister of Estonia, an Eastern European nation famous for its advanced e-government system.
He said Estonia has been asked to transfer its e-government know-how to Thailand in order to improve the latter's civil service system, cut red tape and curb corruption.
Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Jakkapong Sangmanee said the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are one of the highlights of UNGA78.
Attendees discussed how to overcome hurdles to achieve the goals by 2030, he said.
"In the future, several projects will be carried out to ensure clean air for Thais and achieve carbon neutrality. The Thai government has attached great importance to this matter," Mr Jakkapong said.
He said the Foreign Affairs Ministry is working on business matchmaking activities to connect Thai and foreign companies to invest in green businesses, which are becoming a new global trend in line with the SDGs.
Government spokesman Chai Wacharonke gave a summary of the remarks delivered by Mr Srettha at the gala dinner.
The prime minister expressed his pleasure at meeting so many prominent business leaders, as their presence reflected the immense interest and importance the American business community accords to Thailand.
The PM hoped the event would serve as a platform for networking and forging new partnerships that further connect the two countries and economies, the spokesman said.
Thailand and the US are seen as natural and mutually beneficial partners. Most notable are the ties among business communities, which have grown from strength to strength, the spokesman quoted the PM as saying.
Bilateral trade has rebounded robustly in the wake of the global pandemic, exceeding US$65 billion last year, with the US reclaiming its position as Thailand's second-largest trading partner for the first time in 15 years.
This resurgence underscores the strong, resilient and closely interconnected supply chain feeding both countries.
On the investment front, Thailand welcomed over $1.1 billion in investment from the United States last year.
The US now ranks No.3 on Thailand's investment billboard. Thai investment in the US is also on the rise, reaching about $13 billion so far.
Mr Srettha said his government's top priority is to reignite Thailand's competitiveness and position as a leading investment destination and an engine of growth for the region.
The government is committed to creating a more conducive investment climate and will put more effort into advancing a comprehensive regulatory guillotine, digitisation of government services, and a more streamlined process and attractive package for foreign investment, he said.
"Now is the time for you to do more business in Thailand," the PM said.
In a Facebook post, he wrote: "As a former businessman, I am confident that our economic policies with clear goals will drive growth and expand opportunities for businesses in Thailand, Asean and other countries in the world."