Government Spokesman Teerat Ratansevi has stated that Prime Minister and Defense Minister Yingluck Shinawatra made 42 overseas trips from September 2011 to August 2013.
Mr. Teerat said that, during the period, the Prime Minister visited nine ASEAN countries, made 26 official visits, and attended 19 international conferences.
He explained that it is a common practice or tradition for a new prime minister in ASEAN to visit other ASEAN partners on familiarization trips. Moreover, the Prime Minister’s overseas trips also provided opportunities to promote trade and investment cooperation with various countries and create new opportunities for the Thai economy.
The Government Spokesman said that statistics, compiled by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, show more tourist arrivals. At the same time, Thailand’s international trade has also been on the rise.
He quoted a report by the Office of the Board of Investment (BOI) stating that, during the Prime Minister’s road shows abroad in 2012, the Prime Minister was able to attract foreign investors wanting to invest in 31 projects, worth 137.77 billion baht, in Thailand. Her overseas trips also created investor confidence and explored new opportunities for the country.
Mr. Teerat said that, during the trips, a number of business people engaged in several fields accompanied the Prime Minister. In this regard, the Government has received good cooperation from the Federation of Thai Industries, the Board of Trade of Thailand, the Federation of Thai Capital Markets Organization, and others. Having these organizations on board would encourage foreign investors to be more confident in the Thai private sector and would also open up opportunities for Thai businesses to meet new trading partners.
In addition, he said, the Thai private sector would be able to increase productivity for production chains in Thailand. For instance, during the trips, Thailand was able to export more vegetables and fruits to the Middle East. The Thai private sector has also co-invested in infrastructure development in foreign countries.
The Government Spokesman quoted leading Thai business people as saying that Thailand today needs new markets. Since they could not contact directly with the trade organizations of some countries, the Prime Minister’s overseas trips helped open new trade gateways for them.
He said that, with the Prime Minister’s participation in international meetings abroad during the past two years, Thailand has gained greater recognition in the international arena.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Yingluck is scheduled to attend the 10th China-ASEAN Expo in Nanning, China, on 2-3 September 2013. The event marks the 10th Anniversary of the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership.
On this occasion, she will deliver a speech at the China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit on 3 September.