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Thailand’s Vision on Sustainable Development
Source: http://thailand.prd.go.th/
Source Date: Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government
Country: Thailand
Created: Oct 18, 2010

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has stated that, in order to achieve sustainable development, the private sector should be encouraged to take part, since this is not just about decisions of the government.

The statement was part of his intervention at the 8th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), Session II, on October 5 in Brussels, where he attended the 8th ASEM Summit. On this occasion, he also presented a vision concerning the issue of sustainability.

In his statement at Session II “Advance on the Path of Sustainable Development,” Prime Minister Abhisit made four main points. The first point is that as far as development is concerned, there continues to be a need to invest in infrastructure, to create networks, whether it is transport, communication, or energy in order to actually reach out to millions of people who are still being left behind.

In this connection, the Prime Minister pointed out that ASEAN, in its effort to achieve integration in five years’ time as an economic community, has placed great emphasis on connectivity issue. ASEAN recognizes the role of its partners -- already the Republic of Korea, China, and Japan have expressed keen interest in creating this connectivity in the ASEAN region. ASEAN welcomes European participation as well.

The second point is the issue of social cohesion. The Prime Minister believed that there could be no better investment than investment in the people. Already there has been mention of possible cooperation as far as the issues of education and capacity-building is concerned. But there is a broader issue of the need to create welfare systems and social safety nets in a number of economies.

The Prime Minister said that while the Asian economies are recovering and growing well, they need to put more commitment as far as the building up of a welfare system for the people is concerned. He called on the European economies to share their experience in trying to achieve fiscal sustainability, as Asia and Europe both meet their challenges to achieve what would be the right balance in creating human security and at the same time achieving fiscal sustainability.

He stated that the issue of economic migration is very important for Asia and Europe, and there is a lot of what they can learn from each other, so that they can provide services not just to their people but also to those who are coming to their borders.

On the issue of the environment and green growth, Prime Minister Abhisit said that it would very good to take the experience of Laos and her efforts to achieve green growth. In doing so, he called on various countries to try to create the right incentives not just for the private sector but also for the people in terms of their aspirations of how they want to achieve prosperity.

As Thailand was the forum’s issue-based leader on food security, he said that Thailand would do all it could to make sure that an ASEM food security framework would be developed to strengthen cooperation on this issue between the two regions.

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