11 July 2024

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will fly to Brussels to attend the commemorative ASEAN-EU summit, which marks the 45th anniversary of their diplomatic relations, according to an informed source.

Prayut will join other ASEAN leaders on December 14th in meeting their EU counterparts. This is the first time ASEAN and EU leaders are meeting exclusively since the EU was granted strategic partnership status by ASEAN earlier this year.

Both the current situations in Ukraine and Myanmar will be high on the agenda when they discuss political and security issues. The EU, as a group, has taken a hard-line approach to the war in Ukraine. ASEAN has more diverse positions regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The EU is the second largest trading partner of ASEAN. In 2018, prior to the COVID pandemic, the EU exported US$146.85 billion in goods and services to ASEAN, while the bloc’s exports amounted to US$101.78 billion.

During his visit, Prayut will give a speech at the ASEAN-EU Business Council to promote investment in Thailand. Fresh from the success of APEC 2022, the prime minister is eager to link with the European campaign for a green economy and sustainable growth.

With the exception of Malaysia, who recently elected a new prime minister, all other ASEAN leaders have confirmed their attendance at the commemorative summit.

The EU acceded to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) in Southeast Asia in 2012. ASEAN decided to amend its protocol so that EU, as an international organisation, could be a signatory. To date, 49 countries have acceded to the TAC.

The two groupings recently signed the ASEAN-EU Strategic Partnership (2023-2027) agreement, committing to comprehensive cooperation on all three pillars – political and security, economic and social and culture.

Thai PBS World