SUNDAY, April 21, 2024

Srettha set to push for southern land bridge project at ASEAN-Australia summit

Srettha set to push for southern land bridge project at ASEAN-Australia summit

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin plans to actively promote and seek investment for his ambitious southern land bridge project when he is at the Australia-ASEAN summit on Monday.

Government spokesman Chai Wacharonke said on Sunday that Srettha and his delegation will be in Melbourne from Monday to Wednesday to attend the 2024 ASEAN-Australia Special Summit.

During his time at the summit, he will take a chance to promote economic cooperation between the two countries and invite Australian investors to come to Thailand. He will also encourage Thai investors to expand their businesses in Australia.

Chai said Srettha will offer Australian businesses a chance to invest in the southern land bridge project as well as in Thailand’s EV ecosystem, so they can make the most of the government’s policy to make the kingdom a regional EV hub.

The spokesman said Australia is also encouraging its businessmen to invest more in ASEAN countries in line with its “Southeast Asia Economy Strategy to 2040” policy, so Srettha’s visit should be successful.

Chai added that at the summit, ASEAN would encourage Australia to play a bigger role in restoring peace in Southeast Asia as a member of AUKUS and a member of the Quadrilateral Dialogue (Quad).

AUKUS (Australia-United Kingdom-United States trilateral security partnership), focuses on the Indo-Pacific region, while Quad is a formal strategic forum of Australia, India, Japan and the United States.

Chai said Srettha would also use the summit to push for ASEAN-Australia cooperation that would tangibly benefit Thailand, especially to enhance opportunities to access Australia’s A$225 million (5.27 billion baht) fund under the Australia for ASEAN (Aus4SEAN) initiatives.

These initiatives represent a suite of programmes launched by Australia to strengthen its partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Established under the ASEAN-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) in 2021, they aim to support ASEAN member states in various areas and address shared regional challenges.