U.S. Ambassador to Thailand Robert F. Godek’s remarks on “Geopolitics: A Big Challenge for Business” at Krungthep Turaki Seminar
Monday, January 23, 2023
Deputy Minister, Chairman and CEO of The Nation Group, Editor-in-Chief of The Nation Group, Ladies and Gentlemen, Sawasdee Clap!
I am very honored to be here today. I would like to thank you for your very kind invitation. In particular, I would like to thank Mr. Krungthep Turakit for convening this seminar and facilitating the exchange of views. Again, on behalf of the U.S. Embassy and myself, thank you.
US Priorities – Building Partnerships for Peace and Prosperity
One truth is clear. The United States is committed to the Indo-Pacific region and to a strong alliance with Thailand. For nearly two centuries, the Thai-US partnership has been a force for good and a pillar of peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific. On March 23, 1833, Chao Phrayapraklan and Edmund his Roberts Minister of the United States signed the Treaty of Amity and Commerce between Siam and the United States, beginning an expanding partnership between the two countries that now spans 190 years. Today, I will outline the US vision for the region and hopes for the future of the Thai-US partnership.
Response to global opportunities and challenges
We have a great opportunity to improve the lives of people around the world. Opportunities to create and share wealth, improve access to education and health care, enhance security, and empower people to make their own decisions about how they govern. In addition to these opportunities, of course, are the challenges of fighting COVID-19, preparing for future global health emergencies, recovering from economic shocks, addressing the threat of climate change, creating cleaner, safer We face challenges such as creating an energy future. , and more affordable. No country can realize these opportunities or meet these challenges alone. We can only do it together, and our shared set of rules and institutions provide the framework for progress.
The United States will work with partners, friends, and allies to address common challenges and seize common opportunities.
But when nations reject international rules, we must unite. Therefore, the international community has been in direct confrontation with Ukraine against President Putin’s unprovoked and unjust war. We are also working with partners to promote justice and accountability in Burma and end the brutal violence of the military regime against the Burmese people. Our future depends on our willingness to work together and respect international norms and agreements. Respecting international rules provides people and businesses with stability and predictability for investment and growth.
As I know, it’s on the minds of many people here as well. I would also like to mention the complex and consequential relationship with China. This includes aspects of cooperation and competition. Secretary of State Brinken will soon be visiting China to follow up on an open and candid conversation between President Biden and President Xi Jinping in November. We strive to keep our communications open, cooperate wherever possible, and make every effort to prevent competition from escalating into conflict. We are committed to managing this important relationship responsibly.
Our Vision for the Region: America’s Indo-Pacific Strategy
For more than 75 years, the United States and Thailand have supported an Indo-Pacific vision in which rules are transparently formulated and applied fairly. A place where countries are free to make their own sovereignty decisions. A place where goods, ideas and people move freely across land, air, cyberspace and the open ocean, where good governance responds to people. This system has improved the quality of life for millions of people in the region and around the world. All the nations of the world and everyone in this room are benefiting.
One of the new regional initiatives in the United States is the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF). In May 2022, he was pleased that Thailand was a founding member of the IPEF when it was launched. From trade to supply chains to energy to the environment, new solutions are needed to meet the challenges of the 21st century, and IPEF can help find them. The IPEF will unlock enormous economic value in the region, especially for small and medium enterprises.
The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC) is another important initiative to address regional challenges and helps provide an institutional framework for progress. I applaud Thailand for successfully hosting her APEC in 2022 and for her efforts to promote sustainable economic growth through the Bangkok Goals on a Bio-Circular Green Economy Model. In 2023, the United States will host APEC, building on Thailand’s great achievements and its overarching goals of promoting free, fair and open trade and investment, and promoting inclusive and sustainable growth. I will keep trying.
US-Thai Relations – A Model for Regional Partnerships
Thailand is the future center of the region and, as I said earlier, today the relationship between the two countries is strong. Our bonds form a tapestry that each of us weaves, the threads running from government to government, business to business, university to university, and people to people.
Our economic partnerships are an integral part of our tapestry. The United States is Thailand’s largest export market. This means that our economies are closely linked and our trade ties are strong. and growing. In fact, trade between the two countries has increased by 50% over the last two years. The United States is a major investor in Thailand’s economy, with US companies operating in various sectors such as automotive, healthcare and high-tech/digital. It is estimated that US companies’ operations in Thailand directly employ about 200,000 Thai citizens and support countless other jobs.
The importance of our economic ties can be seen in the work we have done in the past year and what we will do in the future. Trade Winds, the largest US government-led trade mission and business development forum, will be held in Bangkok in March. The forum will feature Thailand as a regional hub, with optional spin-off visits to her five other ASEAN countries. Trade Winds will host more than 100 of his top executives from US companies and hold meetings with government officials to demonstrate the US private sector’s enthusiasm for investing in Thailand. The trade winds are another example of the US commitment to Thailand and our desire to achieve sustainable and inclusive economic growth across the region.
The United States and Thailand are also collaborating on digital economy development to foster innovation, including developing a secure and stable digital infrastructure, improving the digital skills of the workforce, and developing smart cities and policies to facilitate digital trade. increase. All major US tech companies, including Seagate, Amazon, Tesla, Ford, Netflix and Google, have expanded their operations in Thailand to reach billions of dollars in short-term investments. These major private sector technology giants are investing in the future of Thailand-US partnerships and look to Thailand as a regional hub.
The United States and Thailand are also working closely together on one of the central challenges of our time: climate change. We applaud Thailand’s ambitious goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030, and the United States will achieve this goal through a combination of technical assistance, capacity building, commercial engagement and cooperation. We are supporting Thailand’s efforts to
In healthcare, Thailand and the United States have been partners for over 60 years. Our collective efforts improve the lives of hundreds of millions of people around the world. Due to the close nature of this partnership, for example, at the Center for Disease Control, where her 100+ staff are stationed in Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health, the lives of countless children have been saved and parents have lost their jobs. I can take care of my family. In the midst of a global pandemic, our vaccines and other donations, as well as technical cooperation, will allow safe and effective mRNA covid vaccines to reach Bangkok and across Thailand, giving Khlong Toei residents access to critical medical supplies. Now A hospital in Kanchanaburi had experimental equipment.
The Future of US-Thai Relations and Partnership Opportunities
As you can see, Thailand and the United States have worked hard to build a strong and diverse relationship over the past 190 years. This year, as we celebrate her 190th anniversary, we need to find ways to do more together and weave a more beautiful tapestry than ever before. In fact, I believe we need to start a decade-long effort to take our relationship to a new level. We need to expand trade and investment in both directions and find new ways to build prosperity for all. Enhance your engagement in the digital world and creative industries. There are opportunities to cooperate in expanding the use of clean energy and launching satellites into space. We should increase the number of scholarships for Thais to study in America and for Americans to study here. Both universities and companies can accelerate joint research in science and technology. What we can do is only limited by our imagination.
In conclusion, the United States is committed to promoting peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and strengthening our partnership with Thailand. We actively work with our partners, friends and allies to address common challenges, seize common opportunities and support an international system that has improved the lives of people around the world. Together, we can build a better future for Thais, Americans and people around the world.
Rao ja daun naa pai duay gun!
Coop Kung Clap.