FOREIGN MINISTER PRAMUDWINAI: Members of the press, media, thank you very much for congregating here, joining us in welcoming Secretary Blinken and delegation to Thailand. And we, in particular, the hosts, are very much pleased to welcome Secretary Blinken during his first official visit to Thailand. And certainly this visit allows to follow up on the visit of the Prime Minister when he was in Washington, D.C. in May this year, and the bilateral meeting we had in Washington September, last meeting in the year 2021, and the previous one in May 2022, too.
And as we’re celebrating the 190th anniversary of diplomatic relations, another milestone of the Thai-U.S. relation has been set, and today we just finish off with the signing of a communiqué, the Thai-U.S. Communiqué on Strategic Alliance and Partnership, which is a testament to our close alliance and longstanding ties of friendship, which set forth our strategy goals based on shared values and common interests.
Apart from the Strategic Alliance and Partnership Communiqué, the second signing was on the MOU on promoting supply chain resilience. Again, this ensures strong, resilient, and diverse supply chain cooperation, particularly in critical industry, in technological innovation.
And certainly, apart from the signing, we had discussion, as you probably noted, that – it was more than 45 minutes allowed – but it was a very useful and fruitful discussion that we had, covering a number of issues. And all those issues you may ask. I don’t know whether we’re allowed to be answering questions, but then certainly not only bilateral issues were discussed, regional issues, made the main channel of our discussion as well. And not only regional, but international was also included.
We also touched on the APEC, ASEAN, which Thailand is currently in the – the host and the chair. We will be passing the torch to the United States for 2023 chairmanship of APEC by the U.S.
So I’ll try to make it short. I know we can hear more from our visitor, Secretary Blinken. Please, and I would keep this remark as short as it is. Thank you.
SECRETARY BLINKEN: Don, thank you. Thank you so much. Hello, everyone. It’s really a pleasure to finally be here. We had a trip planned earlier that COVID got in the way of, but it’s wonderful to be here now, to be with you, and also to see you so soon after your recent visit to Washington, and to continue the extremely productive dialogue, conversation we have about the relationship between the United States and Thailand, our work together with ASEAN, and so many other things.
I’m especially pleased to be in Thailand at a time when we have an ally and partner in the Indo-Pacific of such importance to us that is in a region that is shaping the trajectory of the 21st century, and it’s doing that every single day.
As the chair of APEC this year, Don, Thailand is at the forefront of doing that shaping. To name just one example, thanks to Thailand’s leadership we’ve seen APEC nations work together this year to promote economic policies that are aligned with tackling the existential challenge of our time, and that is climate change.
Our countries share the goal of a free, open, interconnected, prosperous, resilient, and secure Indo-Pacific. In recent years we’ve worked together even more closely toward that vision.
Our economic ties are incredibly strong. And even now, emerging from COVID, they will grow stronger. We’re grateful for Thailand’s partnership in launching with us the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework. That’s going to help create a stronger, fairer, more resilient economy that will help families, it will help workers, it will help businesses across the region.
Our security ties are strong. Just a few weeks ago, Secretary Austin and Prime Minister Prayut discussed new ways to advance together regional security, including by expanding joint training and exercises and also collaborating in emerging areas of concern, like cyber and space.
And of course, we’re working very closely together, the United States and Thailand, on the climate crisis. Thailand was the first country to join our Clean Energy Demand Initiative, which connects countries looking to expand their use of renewable energy with companies that can help them do just that. Already we have got seven companies that have signaled their interest in investing up to $2.7 billion in Thailand’s clean energy infrastructure, and Thailand is moving forward with these collaborations.
These are just a few of the examples of Thailand and the United States deepening ties. As Don said, 190 years, we’re building the foundation for the next 190 years. And the two documents that we just signed will strengthen our alliance even further.
The Communiqué on Strategic Alliance and Partnership is, in my judgment, very significant because it highlights the depth and the breadth of our relationship, and it lays out new areas where we can work together even more closely, like promoting clean and renewable technologies including electric vehicles, carbon capture technology, and ensuring that more of our peoples can participate in and benefit from the digital economy.
Secretary of State Dean Rusk, one of my very illustrious predecessors, and Foreign Minister Thanat Khoman signed a communiqué in Washington 60 years ago that solidified the U.S.-Thai alliance. With this new agreement, we’re expanding their vision. We’re broadening our cooperation. We are taking a partnership between us fully into the 21st century.
As Don said, the other document that we signed together addresses one of the key issues of our time that has been brought into such clear relief by the COVID crisis and that affects the daily lives of Thais and Americans alike, and that is supply chains and the need to have resilient supply chains. The memorandum of understanding that promotes supply chain resilience will make it easier for Thailand and the United States to quickly share information and consult on possible supply chain disruptions so that we can actually take early action to mitigate problems.
This memorandum of understanding will also make it easier to work with our respective private sectors to identify ways to make existing supply chains run more smoothly. Again, the COVID pandemic has made clear to people around the world how critical it is that we have reliable supply chains, for example, to ensure that people have access to lifesaving medicines, to personal protective equipment. All of that we’ve seen in such stark relief these last couple of years.
So with these new agreements, our countries will do even more together to actually deliver for our people. That’s the objective – to make their lives a little bit safer, a little bit healthier, a little bit more prosperous. That spirit of seeking shared progress I think has been inherent in our partnership from day one. So next year we will celebrate 190 years of diplomatic relations. There’s a document that began our friendship, the 1833 Treaty of Amity and Commerce, and it was signed on a scroll that was no more than 90 inches long. And it certainly included no mention of renewable energy or supply chains.
What it did say was this. It said that our countries would engage in commerce, and I quote, “as long as heaven and earth shall endure,” and that we would live, and I quote again, “in perpetual peace” with each other. So for nearly two centuries that’s exactly what we’ve done. The documents we’ve signed today will build on that peace, build on that friendship, for the benefit of the Thai people, the American people, and people around the world. Thank you very much.
DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER/FOREIGN MINISTER PRAMUDWINAI: We have also laid a foundation for the next 190 years, as well.
SECRETARY BLINKEN: Exactly. Thank you. Thank you very much.
DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER/FOREIGN MINISTER PRAMUDWINAI: Thank you.