In the spirit of fortifying international relationships and maximizing tourism potential, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin of Thailand has revealed his plans for an instrumental visit to China from Oct 8-10. During this visit, he will converse with his Chinese counterpart on myriad topics, ranging from the rekindling of Thailand-Chinese relations, tourism cooperation, to discussing the Thai-Chinese memorandum of understanding (MoU) regarding pandas lent to Thailand by a Chinese ambassador.
The revelations surfaced when PM Srettha was in Chiang Mai this past Saturday during which he avowed that the Thai-Chinese relationship would be a paramount subject during his impending visit to China. To endorse this collaboration, a government spokesperson, Mr. Chai Wacharonke, mentioned that discussions around tourism cooperation are also likely to grace the agenda. He further clarified that the Thai government impartially regards the US and China as significant trade partners.
On a similar note, the PM will have an opportunity to strengthen ties with the US by attending the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA78) in New York City where a meeting with US President Joe Biden, US trade executives alongside prime US companies awaits him. This presents an ideal platform for the PM to advocate for an increased investment by US investors in Thailand, and hold talks with eminent tech firms.
In a bid to encourage Chinese and Kazakhstani travel to Thailand, the cabinet assented to a visa-less travel scheme from Sept 25 until Feb 29, next fiscal year. The PM has also acknowledged the surge in bookings by Chinese visitors to the Northern province, post the announcement of the visa-free program, further testifying to its success.
Enhancing the safety of international visitors, particularly in the wake of the surge in Chinese visitors, is also on the PM’s agenda. He emphasized the necessity of increasing security measures and curbing illegitimate activities possibly initiated by malevolent foreign nationals. Measures to confront the spread of disinformation tarnishing Thailand’s tourism reputation are also in the works, as the PM has previously discussed with the Chinese ambassador to Thailand.
Another important matter the government is addressing is the PM2.5 dust pollution issue affecting Northern Thailand significantly. Reducing transboundary haze pollution, primarily emanating from man-made wildfires is part of the government’s crucial negotiations with neighbouring countries.
A construction project is underway for the second airport in Chiang Mai, announced the PM, catering to the increased inbound tourism. The 30-day visa-less travel program might also be extended to include more countries, however, the waivers would be established on a case-by-case basis.
Summing up his visit to Chiang Mai, the PM voiced his desire to extinguish the uproar over the cost of a charter flight, arranged for him and other ministers to the UN general assembly. He emphasized that the costs were less than those of a specially arranged Royal Thai Air Force flight. The PM concluded with his commitment to reducing fuel prices and employing measures to slash diesel and electricity costs, a decision approved in the latest official cabinet meeting.