Thailand to attend Indo-Pacific Forum in Paris
Thailand will join 57 other countries from the Indo-Pacific region to discuss a range of issues related to defence and security, digital connectivity and transnational issues, such as climate change and health security, according to Tanee Sangrat, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The spokesperson said that Thailand’s Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai will visit Paris from February 20-24 to attend the Indo Pacific Ministerial Forum 2022 hosted by France, the current chair of the Council of the European Union.
France was the first member of the EU to publish its Indo-Pacific strategy, aimed at promoting many areas between countries, from Africa’s east coast to the whole Pacific region.
Myanmar was the only ASEAN member state not to be invited to the meeting. Other participants include those from Europe, South Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Pacific and Oceania Islands.
Tanee said that, during the visit, Don will hold bilateral talks with senior French officials about the prospects for future cooperation, both within a bilateral and an ASEAN context.
Thailand is a strong supporter of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP), which was launched in Bangkok in 2019 during the Thai chairmanship. ASEAN devised this cooperative framework to promote cooperation among various dialogue partners. This year, ASEAN will operationalise the AOIP with programs related to post COVID-19 economic recovery. Several ASEAN dialogue partners have expressed an interest in cooperating with the AOIP.
At present, there are several Indo-Pacific strategies, belonging to the US, Australia, India, Japan, France and Germany. Spain also has policies regarding Asia which were developed a few years ago.
Under the leadership of President Emmanuel Macron, France wants to increase its security profile in the Indo-Pacific region, especially in maritime security.