Foreign Ministry urges envoys to become proactive in driving Thai economy
The Foreign Ministry launched a weeklong summit with Thai ambassadors, consuls general and trade representatives to give them instructions on working proactively to expand the country’s economy.
The forum, which wraps up on Friday, was opened by Foreign Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara on Monday at the JW Marriot Hotel Bangkok. Attending were 65 ambassadors, 28 consuls general, heads of three Thai permanent missions to the United Nations and ASEAN, as well as Thai representatives.
The aim of the summit is to brief the senior envoys on the government’s urgent policies and brainstorm ideas for drafting working plans for 2024 and 2025.
The senior envoys are also scheduled to discuss the subject with representatives of relevant government agencies, so they can carry out diplomatic missions on economy-boosting endeavours like increasing border and cross-border trade.
The envoys will also be briefed on the government’s mega projects and key policies like soft power, the southern land bridge scheme, driving green economy and industries, carbon neutrality policy and the digital economic partnership agreement.
In his opening speech, Parnpree said the aim of the summit was to draft new-era foreign policies as Thailand needs to build proactive diplomatic missions in a divided world whose context is changing.
He said the envoys need to be ready to cope with global changes so they can help protect national interests.
He also urged them to stop focusing on routine duties and instead come up with ways to tangibly protect and boost national interests.
Saying that since this economic mission would be key to driving the country forward, he urged the envoys to act fast and efficiently.
Sarun Charoensuwan, permanent secretary for the Foreign Ministry, said this is the first such meeting to be held since 2016.
He added that the envoys need to learn about how well they can protect national interests, especially at a time when the world is getting divided and global competition is getting fiercer.
The agenda for the summit has been set as follows:
• Tuesday: Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin will hand down policies to the envoys and diplomats on pushing for more trade.
Surapong Suebwonglee, a member of the national soft power committee, will brief them on promoting Thailand’s soft power.
• Wednesday: The ambassadors and consuls general will meet governors of border provinces to discuss how border trade can be boosted and how cooperation can be sought from neighbouring countries.
• Thursday: Srettha will listen to diplomatic proactive policies to boost economic growth.
• Friday: Parnpree will preside over the closing ceremony.