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By Linda Khoo Hui Li
BANGKOK, May 13 (Bernama) -- Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan o-cha said ASEAN and United States (US) should further cooperate in “3Rs” which are Reconnect, Rebuild and Rebalance to the Next Normal.
Prayuth said Thailand has placed importance on creating “economic driving forces for the future” to promote the region’s strong and sustainable growth in the Next Normal.
Therefore, Prayuth took the opportunity to share his thoughts on “3Rs” when ASEAN leaders met American business leaders at a meeting to discuss economic cooperation in Washington DC on Friday (in Thailand) at the sideline of the ASEAN-US Special Summit.
Also present in the meeting were US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and US Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai.
First- reconnect, Prayuth said the US private sector could play an important role to promote supply chain connectivity through expansion of production base in the region, especially in new industries that ASEAN has potential and resources.
He said Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) welcomes investment of the US private sector to promote diversity of supply chains, and their use of Thailand as base for business connectivity with other countries in the region through the establishment of regional headquarters. Potential industries for cooperation include medical equipment and services industry, smart logistics, and smart electronics.
“Thailand is a strong production base for midstream and downstream smart electronics industry with a number of American private firms already putting in their investment,” he said.
The prime minister also extended invitation to American investors to consider more investment in hi-tech products here that are important to supply chain, such as semi-conductor upstream, and electric vehicles (EV).
“The Thai Government now has a policy to promote the country as world-class EV manufacturing base. Investment privileges will be provided to EV manufacturers and related ecosystem, which would also benefit U.S. automotive industry,” he said.
Second is “rebuild”, Prayuth said in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) era, focus should be made on the development and adoption of science, technology and innovation to drive the economies, especially the development of the region’s digital economy which is a key economic driving force that could bring about a USD 1 trillion boost to ASEAN’s Gross Domestic Product by 2030.
Prayuth extended an invitation for US private sector to take part in the development of infrastructure in the ASEAN region, internet network, cloud technology for manufacturing, data center, content provision, and the development and incubation of digital startups.
Third is “Rebalance”, where Prayuth said immediate target of all sectors now is to reinvigorate the society and people’s living and maintain “balance” between economic growth and environmental protection.
“The US private sector has great potential to expand investment and transfer knowledge and technology in low-carbon industry and clean energy to the ASEAN region,” he said.
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