Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, the finance minister of Thailand and a significant figure on the international stage, recently extended a hand of cooperation to China under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) during a high-profile forum in Beijing. In a speech delivered at the “Green Silk Road for Harmony with Nature,” a leading event at the 3rd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held at the China National Convention Center (CNCC), he unveiled Thailand’s commitment towards sustainable development and invited Chinese investors to participate in the country’s Land Bridge project.
Mr. Srettha outlined three primary areas of focus for Thailand’s development vision. Firstly, the country seeks to expedite its green transition across varied sectors to promoting sustainable production and consumption. He emphasized the importance of infusing new technologies and digital transformation into the initiative, while guaranteeing their responsible utilization for equitable access. He cited Thailand’s commitment to lower greenhouse gas emissions and boost sustainable agriculture, among other things, as constructive steps taken by the country towards its green goals.
Secondly, Thailand is also keen on nurturing its environmental and ecosystem conservation efforts. Mr. Srettha shared the country’s ambition to extend its green zones and commit to the “30 by 30 Target” for safeguarding its marine and coastal biodiversity. His understanding is that digital transformation, coupled with a sustainable blue economy, would be instrumental in establishing the Green Maritime Silk Road.
Lastly, Mr. Srettha spoke about a sustainable financing mechanism being pivotal to the green transition, as evidenced by Thailand’s successful raising of US$12.5 billion through the issuance of sustainability bonds.
Thailand’s Prime Minister, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the BRI, praised China’s accomplishments with the massive global infrastructure initiative. Taking lessons from this mega-project, Thailand, though smaller in size, plans to implement similar strategies domestically.
In a recent development, the Thai cabinet endorsed a study and implementation blueprint for the proposed Land Bridge project. This venture, aiming to link the Andaman Sea and the Indian Ocean to the Gulf of Thailand and the Pacific Ocean, will significantly enhance connectivity in the southern Andaman region and reduce travel times via the Strait of Malacca.
Also of note is the expressed interest of China Harbour Engineering Company Limited (CHEC), a prominent Chinese engineering firm, in collaborating on Thailand’s southern Land Bridge megaproject. The government is encouraging international firms like CHEC to discuss possibilities with the Board of Investment (BOI) and explore potential investment opportunities. One of Thailand’s strategic development plans includes soliciting foreign investment between November and January, with a subsequent bidding process for private sector participation between April and June.