Thai Khu Fah Building, Government House, H.E. Mr. Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle, Special Envoy for Asia-Pacific Affairs and Former President of the Republic of Chile, paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha on the occasion of his official visit to Thailand during April 6-10, 2016.
Maj Gen Werachon Sukhondhapatipak, Deputy Government Spokesperson, revealed gist of the meeting as follows: Both parties expressed pleasure to meet with each other. The Prime Minister welcomed Chile’s former President to Thailand to participate in a seminar on "Opportunities from Chile-Thailand FTA after it is in Effect”.
H.E. Mr. Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle stated that, as the Special Envoy for Asia-Pacific Affairs, he hoped that trade and investment relations between the two countries would be developed to their full potentials after the Chile-Thailand FTA was in effect, and that opportunities would be taken from the FTA.
Both parties came to terms that Thailand and Chile had potential for more cooperation, and agreed to expedite tangible implementations under those cooperation through FTA which would be the basis for future cooperation.
The Prime Minister was pleased with good ties between the two countries. Thailand stands ready to cooperate with Chile to further develop mutual relations in all aspects. Both countries have placed importance in regional integration among countries in the Asia-Pacific and ASEAN.
On export, over 50% of Chile products have been exported to the Asia-Pacific, and over 30% of imported products to Chile are from the region. The Prime Minister was of the view that cooperation on tourism and culture could be tangibly and promptly developed, be it, tourism promotion and increase of direct flights, to create connectivity and people-to-people relations.
Thailand, as chair of G77, viewed that G77’s 134 member countries have potentials to be either upstream (sources of materials and production), midstream (product processing), and downstream (end markets). Thailand has a policy to create connectivity with 7 strategic countries and alliances (US, EU, Middle East, Oceania, Africa, ASEAN, and CLMV countries), and hoped that Chile and other G77 member countries would join in the effort.
Chilean Special Envoy for Asia-Pacific Affairs stated that Chile endorsed Thailand’s role as observer of the Pacific Alliance, and ASEAN Coordinator. The Pacific Alliance realizes the importance of ASEAN and similarities between both parties, especially in economic aspect.
Thailand and Chile agreed to use each other’s country as base/gateway for trade and investment between the two regions. Thailand is also following up closely on Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) which is an extension of P4, a free-trade agreement between Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Singapore, and New Zealand, and is well aware of the benefits and opportunities incurred from being a TPP member. However, it requires some time for deliberation.
Lastly, the Prime Minister wished the Chilean Special Envoy for Asia-Pacific Affairs a success in his mission, and expressed hope that he revisited Thailand in the future. The Prime Minister also conveyed his well wishes to President Michelle Bachelet of Chile.