December 18, 2023
BANGKOK – Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said on Sunday that Thailand would use clean energy to support the Asia Zero Emission Community (AZEC) initiative and called for tighter cooperation between Japan and ASEAN.
Thai government spokesman Chai Wacharonke said Srettha made the pledge on clean energy and the AZEC initiative in his speech delivered to the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit to mark the 50th year of relations at the Okura Tokyo Hotel in Tokyo.
Chai said Srettha was giving a speech at the plenary session on the “Review of ASEAN-Japan relations” and “Partners for Peace and Stability & Regional and International Issues”.
Srettha said Thailand was ready to the support the AZEC initiative and the Strategic Programme for ASEAN Climate and Environment.
He thanked Japan for playing a key role in supporting ASEAN nations during the clean energy transitional period.
Srettha said Thailand was determined to produce clean energy and transform itself into a hub for making electric vehicles as part of the support for the AZEC initiative.
Moreover, the Thai government will issue sustainability-linked bonds as part of its support for zero emission.
The AZEC is a collaborative effort by 10 ASEAN countries and Australia to accelerate a clean, sustainable, just, affordable, and inclusive energy transition towards carbon neutrality/net-zero emissions in the region.
The AZEC Ministerial Meeting was held in March 2023, where ministers from the 11 member countries adopted a joint statement outlining their commitment to the initiative.
Srettha said ASEAN needed to tighten cooperation with Japan to tackle issues ranging from international health risks and geopolitical conflicts.
Srettha thanked Japan for paying US$50 million to support the ASEAN Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases.
Chai said Srettha called for Japan and ASEAN to join hands to solve geopolitical conflicts and bring about peace and stability in the region and the world.
Srettha said the Russian-Ukraine War, the Middle East conflicts and the situation in Myanmar were getting more serious, and thus affecting the world and region.
In particular, Srettha said, Thailand hoped that all sides would not give up the efforts to bring about peace in Myanmar. Thailand, as a neighbouring country, would be willing to play a leading role to help bring about peace in Myanmar in line with ASEAN’s resolutions, he added.
Srettha said tighter friendship and trust among and between Japan and ASEAN would be a key for the grouping and Japan to handle all kinds of crises like the saying of “walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light”.
Srettha also noted that the summit served to prove long cooperation between Japan and ASEAN during the past 50 years.
Chai said the Thai prime minister also suggested that Japan and ASEAN members should make use of the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership to strengthen trade cooperation and link all the markets in the region.
Srettha claimed that Thailand’s southern land bridge project would boost seamless linkage with the Indian and Pacific oceans to boost trade in the regions.