Recently, the media was briefed by Chai Wacharong, spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s Office, about Prime Minister Srettha’s diplomatic visit.
Prime Minister Srettha had a meeting with the 16th Malaysian King, Al-Sultan Abdullah, on October 11. A key highlight of their discussion was the acknowledgement of Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s instrumental contributions. Both nations share a cordial relationship, more so at the royal level. Particularly, King Abdullah expressed his deep appreciation for Thailand’s commendable efforts in wildlife conservation while addressing the concerns of wildlife crossing the border into Thailand from Malaysia. To this effect, Prime Minister Srettha promised to tackle the issue promptly to prevent its recurrence.
The Malaysian King displayed a keen interest in placing a joint bid with other Asean countries, including Thailand, to host the 2034 World Cup soccer event. This potential collaboration is anticipated to greatly benefit both countries.
Numerous tourists from Malaysia frequent Thailand, making tourism another pivotal topic of discussion. The leaders decided to cooperate on this front, recognising that doing so would be advantageous for both nations. A proposal was set forth to establish a working group specifically aimed at creating joint tourism initiatives.
The leaders also deliberated on trade-related matters. They emphasised enhancing and simplifying trade processes with a view to augment the value of their cross-border trade. In line with this, construction work on projects such as the second Sungai Golok Bridge, intended to improve trade logistics, is likely to culminate soon. Prime Minister Srettha invited his Malaysian counterpart, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, for a visit to Thailand in November, in the backdrop of forming working committees to handle these subjects.
Prime Minister Srettha forwarded the idea of converting the southern border areas of Thailand and northern regions of Malaysia into buzzing economic zones. The concept involves establishing basic infrastructures to encourage travel and strengthen connections, boosting cross-border trade. Projects involving the second Sungai Golok Bridge and the expansion of the Sadao checkpoint are integral in materialising this vision. Malaysia extended its full support to Thailand for this initiative, citing the necessity of in-depth coordination across multiple sectors.
The third topic on the agenda was food security. Malaysia, being remarkably skilled in certifying halal food, is exploring possible cooperation with Thailand. It was suggested that the private sectors in both countries should team up to set up food production facilities in Thailand, to which Malaysia agreed to assist.
Summaryzing his visit, Prime Minister Srettha expressed that it was highly successful and surpassed all expectations. The assignments were clearly outlined, with plans for establishment of definitive plans and committees within a month.
Speaking about the aid for Thai nationals affected by the recent turmoil in the Middle East, Prime Minister Srettha stated that the matter has been discussed with the Malaysian Prime Minister. Further details were not revealed due to the sensibilities involved and the strong bilateral ties between the two countries. Srettha has also collaborated with other countries to support Thai nationals in the impacted regions.