Pita sees a stronger role for Thailand regionally and on the global stage

SUNDAY, MAY 21, 2023

Move Forward Party leader Pita Limjaroenrat has vowed to revive Thailand’s leading role in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to deal with hot-button issues, including the violence in Myanmar, and increase the association’s bargaining power on economic issues.

The 10-member association has a combined population of more than 670 million people, making it one of the largest markets in the world.

Pita is the leading candidate to become Thailand’s next prime minister. Move Forward won the May 14 general election.

He discussed his plans for Asean when he met with a senior official from the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Saturday.

Pita and Prit Wacharasin, head of Move Forward’s foreign affairs committee, met with Joo-Ok Lee, who oversees the World Economic Forum’s agenda for the Asia-Pacific region.

They discussed possible cooperation between Thailand and the WEF.

They discussed the possibility of Thailand hosting an annual meeting of the WEF in the future. The last time Thailand hosted a WEF meeting was in 2012.

Thailand could host international meetings for WEF members on the digital and creative economies.

Pita told Lee that the next Move Forward-led government will revive Thailand’s leading role in Asean and work to lessen the violence in Myanmar.

Thailand has so far been mute about the atrocities committed by the junta in Myanmar junta, saying it is adhering to Asean so-called non-interference policy, which prevents members of the association from interfering in the internal politics of other members.

A Move Forward government will also rebalance Thailand’s position in international politics to avoid aligning too closely with one super power.

Thailand is eager to play a greater role in international politics and it will do this by uniting and increasing the bargaining power of Asean, Pita said.

A stronger Asean will be a boon for the development of human resources in Thailand and it will increase the country’s economic competitiveness, Pita said.

Pita also said his government will remove the military’s influence from politics, break up or weaken monopolies, and decentralise administrative power.