Triple joy for Thailand

Danial Norjidi

With 36 years of close bilateral ties, Brunei Darussalam and Thailand are aligned in their interests and will continue to work together and expand areas of cooperation.

Ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand to Brunei Darussalam Wanthanee Viputwongsakul said this in a message on the occasion of the birthdayanniversary of His Majesty the Late King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great, National Day of the Kingdom of Thailand and Thailand Father’s Day.

“December 5 is an auspicious day for Thailand as the day commemorates three important occasions. First, the Birthday Anniversary of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great. It also marks the National Day of the Kingdom of Thailand and Thailand Father’s Day.

“December 5 also marks an important day when the global community celebrates the ‘World Soil Day’ as declared by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, in recognition of the remarkable achievements of His Majesty the late King in this field.

“This year we have to celebrate this significant occasion with more caution and mindfulness while continuing our efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 and mitigate the repercussions on the economy and people lives. The pandemic has drastically changed our economies, societies and forced us to adapt and embrace a new normal,” she said.

The ambassador also highlighted that His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s “Sufficiency Economy Philosophy (SEP) bestowed upon his people decades ago, has been and still constitutes the guiding light for our national development”.

His Majesty the Late King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great. PHOTO: ROYAL THAI EMBASSY

She added that as Thailand moves forward and adapts to the new normal under the guidance of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn, SEP will play a contributing role in the efforts to build back better life at both national and international level by striking a balance between the economic, social and environmental development towards a sustainable future.

The envoy noted that to ensure that Thailand emerges from this crisis, the Royal Thai Government continues to develop the infrastructures to increase the country’s physical and digital connectivity, especially in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), which she described as Thailand’s advanced developmental zones with clusters of hi-tech industries.

She shared that during the pandemic, it has proven to manage successfully in keeping its logistical network operational. Companies in the 12 targetted industries of the EEC have helped manufacture products for global companies that could no longer outsource this process in other countries. They also manufactured essential medical equipment and pharmaceuticals for the global chain. As a result of the pandemic, companies in the EEC have accelerated the rate of digital technologies adoption to further strengthen the competitiveness of the zones.

“With respect to Thailand-Brunei relations, the COVID-19 crisis has offered a unique opportunity for Thailand and Brunei to take stock of its previous cooperation and reaffirm the close ties that have existed between the two countries for 36 years.

“Both countries are not only close but are aligned in its interests. Thailand and Brunei are aiming to transform and diversify the country’s economy into one that is more resilient, sustainable, and prosperous. We both place great importance in upholding the international rules of law and are committed to regional cooperation and working constructively in the spirit of multilateralism.

“We will be working closely together via the Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) to further strengthen existing co-operations in the food and agricultural sector as specified in the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Agricultural Cooperation and increase greater cooperation in the medical sector. New areas of cooperation will be expanded, especially in the cultural sector, trade and investments, as well as people-to-people exchanges through the finalisation of MoU on Cultural Cooperation, MoU on Double Taxation Avoidance and MoU on OTOP Products Cooperation, respectfully. Thailand and Brunei will emerge from this crisis stronger together,” she affirmed.

The envoy also underlined the importance of cooperation at the regional level to ensure that efforts among ASEAN countries are well coordinated to effectively contain and mitigate the effects of the pandemic.

“Thailand, therefore, strongly supports greater public health security cooperation at the regional level, especially in developing and ensuring equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines and promoting comprehensive recovery efforts in the long term,” she said, adding that these intentions were successfully reflected in the outcomes of the ASEAN Summit this year.

She noted that ASEAN members agreed to set up the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund; the ASEAN Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies (RRMS) for public health emergencies, which Thailand pledged to donate various medical supplies, such as personal protective equipment (PPE); the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework (ACRF) and the ASEAN Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases (ACPHEED) to ensure a cohesive and responsive ASEAN that can rise above challenges and achieve sustainable growth.

“As Brunei assumes the ASEAN Chairmanship for the year 2021, Thailand stands ready to offer its full cooperation and support to Brunei in making progress towards realising the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and furthering cooperation with other ASEAN countries, as well as the dialogue partners to realise a stable, prosperous, and resilient region that could withstand any future crisis,” said the ambassador.