Thai PM proposes three paths for actions to advance ASEAN in post-COVID-19 era hinh anh 1Thai Prime Minister and Defense Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha attends the 36th ASEAN Summit via a teleconference (Source:
Bangkok (VNA) – Thai Prime Minister and Defence Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha attended the 36th ASEAN Summit in the form of a teleconference together with leaders of the 10 ASEAN member states and ASEAN Secretary General.

Speaking at the event, the Prime Minister stated that the spread of COVID-19 pandemic has transformed Thailand and the global community into the ‘new normal’ way of life, while the world is also moving into a volatile geopolitical phase which has impacted international security and stability.

ASEAN should cooperate to counter these trends by strengthening regionalism and the spirit of giving and sharing, as well as preserving ASEAN Centrality in the regional architecture to avoid being forced to take sides, he said.

The PM took the opportunity to propose three paths for actions to advance ASEAN in the post-COVID-19 era, including ‘More connected ASEAN’, ‘Stronger ASEAN’ and ‘Better-immuned ASEAN’.
Regarding ‘More connected ASEAN’, Prayut urged member states to urgently make ASEAN truly connected by accelerating the implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025 and promoting connectivity and green infrastructure development as to create seamless and sustainable ASEAN.

He also called on ASEAN to start considering shared paths in easing measures that have become obstacles to traveling in order to help restore businesses and people-to-people connectivity.

The second path is striving for a ‘Stronger ASEAN’ by ‘building strength from within’ through advancing economic integration and expediting the signing of RCEP within this year so that ASEAN recovers economically.

The Prime Minister also proposed promotion of investment in digital infrastructure as the digital economy is crucial key that will increase the value of ASEAN’s GDP. ASEAN must also build its strength on biodiversity by using technology and innovation to produce high valued goods and services as well as environmentally friendly, in line with “Business Model BCG”.

About the third one, ‘Better-immuned ASEAN’, Prayut called on ASEAN to prepare for volatilities and challenges that could arise in the future by creating long-term immunity.

He also emphasised that Thailand has applied the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy which stresses building strength from foundation and taking moderation, reasonableness and good immunity into consideration, along with the sustainable development agenda. In addition, the COVID-19 crisis has clearly demonstrated that ASEAN must uphold putting people at the center and gives importance to looking after every group of the population, particularly vulnerable groups which include migrant workers.

In closing, the Thai Prime Minister and other ASEAN leaders adopted the “ASEAN Leaders’ Vision Statement on a Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN” and expressed Thailand’s determination in intensifying ASEAN’s cooperation and solidarity, while seeking partnerships with external partners to be able to respond to all internal and external challenges from now on in an effective manner.

Also the same day, at the ASESAN Leaders’ Special Session on “Women’s Empowerment in the Digital Age”, PM Prayut commended Vietnam for recognising the importance of empowering women and designating “Women’s Empowerment in the Digital Age” as part of the 36th ASEAN Summit and related meetings, which is also in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals, especially Goal 5 on “achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls”.

Thailand stands ready to support ASEAN in empowering women sustainably whether in economic, politic and social and ASEAN should prioritise issues such as promoting financial access to empower women who own micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and promoting the role of women in the healthcare sector./.