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|Thai Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha delivering a keynote speech at the CLMVT Forum|
Thailand’s Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha today (June 24, 2019 ) officially opened the CLMVT Forum 2019 at the Renaissance Bangkok Rachaprasong Hotel and delivered a keynote speech highlighting the forum’s theme of “CLMVT as the new value chain hub of Asia”.
Organised by Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce, in association with 11 partner organisations, the event showcased the strong potential and competitiveness of the five CLMVT countries at a time of global economic volatility and trade tensions. The forum is also a platform to discuss innovate ideas and possible co-operation to build regional trade and investment networks and establish the region as the new value chain hub of Asia.
Turning up in full support of the occasion were Pan Sorasak, Minister of Commerce of Cambodia; Sok Chenda Sophea, Minister attached to the Prime Minister and Secretary General of the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC); Khemmani Pholsena, Minister of Industry and Commerce of Lao PDR; Than Myint, Minister of Commerce of Myanmar; and their delegations, together with the representatives of the public and private sectors as well as the academic elite of the CLMVT.
“The Thai government has long recognised the high potential of the CLMVT region as a new hub of the Asian and global economy,” the Thai prime minister said in his address at the forum’s opening ceremony. “Thus, we are pleased to host the CLMVT Forum again this year under the theme of CLMVT as the new value chain hub of Asia.”
“We aim to mobilise seamless connectivity throughout the value chain, both within and outside of the CLMVT region. We also aspire to develop a network of business leaders, young entrepreneurs, policymakers, academics, and youth in the CLMVT region in order to achieve sustainable mutual prosperity. In this era of changes, where technologies can rapidly revolutionise the world and geopolitical tensions remain high, co-operation is more important than ever,” he said.
PM Chan-o-cha emphasised that the shared prosperity within the CLMVT region must be led by the private sector and academia. The government will play a supporting role as a facilitator by building the groundwork for development. The private sectors in the region have long proven their ingenuity when it comes to business expansion and innovation, while also making key contributions in terms of co-operation in all areas.
“This CLMVT Forum 2019 can provide all participants with valuable information and inputs from various brainstorming sessions plus direct knowledge from esteemed speakers, especially with CLMVT ministers personally addressing the limitless potential of the region. Participants have the platform to discuss future directions, co-operation, and meet any global challenges and trends without fear,” he added.
The prime minister also confirmed that technology has now become a fundamental part of our lives and business process. This is the time of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, where digital, physical, and biological technologies have merged into one, changing people’s way of life and business operation in all sectors of industry, agriculture, and services, on a monumental scale.
“New technologies will come with their own challenges. Aside from fiercer competition, uncertainties, and volatilities now characterised the global economy. This means all sectors of the CLMVT region must adapt and co-operate to move forward through partnership in addition to competition. We must ensure that small players can participate in the modern value chain by constantly learning, reducing costs, and generating added value,” the Thai prime minister emphasised.
“Thailand firmly believes that we are ‘strong together’. We operate under the principle of inclusive development that will leave no one behind. The CLMVT has long-standing relations, building on mutual respect for our diversity and the support of mutual prosperity. This CLMVT Forum will contribute to our sustainable development goals and send a strong message of our limitless potential born out of our unity to the global stage,” the prime minister reiterated.
Acting Thai Minister of Commerce Chutima Bunyapraphasara added that the CLMVT region is brimming with potential. The region is located at the heart of Asia and has been experiencing rapid growth. The CLMVT has state-of-the-art infrastructure, abundant natural resources, and capable human capital. It has rightly become one of the most attractive trade and investment hubs in Asia and the world.
The Thai minister also confirmed that this third CLMVT Forum has drawn the enthusiastic participation of over 500 high-ranking executives from the government and the private sectors from 14 countries in the region and beyond. Organisations represented included J.P. Morgan, Google, DHL, National University of Singapore, Chandragan Group India, the Singapore Manufacturing Federation, Bank of Ayudhya, BMW Thailand, the Bank of Thailand, the Federation of Thai Industries, Thailand Development Research Insitute, and WHA Corporation, among others.