H.E. Mrs. Busaya Mathelin, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand co-chaired the 22nd ASEAN-India Senior Officials’ Meeting with H.E. Mrs. Vijay Thakur Singh, Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs of India via videoconference. The Meeting discussed ways of enhancing the ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership in all dimensions, in order to cope with the challenges caused by the spread of COVID-19, including cooperation on public health, namely the production of vaccines and generic drugs in the treatment of COVID-19, as well as on ways for recovery from the socio-economic impacts.
On 16 July 2020, The ASEAN-SOM Meeting discussed public health cooperation, especially the production fo vaccines and genetic drugs in the treatment of COVID-19. The Meeting also reaffirmed the importance of economic cooperation targeted at achieving the goal of 200 billion US Dollars in two-way trade by 2022, and promoting multimodal transportation for land, air and sea, including expediting the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway project and its extension to the Lao PDR, Cambodia, and Vietnam. The Meeting also discussed political and security cooperation and included an exchange of views on regional and global issues and situations, and emphasised the importance of deepening relations between our peoples, including youth through the long civilisational ties that exist between the two regions.
The Permanent Secretary led the agenda on “Sustainable Development and Closing the Development Gaps” in the current context, with the world facing unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, both sides should urgently promote sustainable development through enhancing health security, food security and human capital development in the region, including on enhancing access to vaccines and antiviral medicines for COVID-19 as well as ensuring that these vaccines and medicines are treated as global public goods, and are accessible to all at an affordable price. Thailand also suggested sharing its experience on Universal Health Coverage (UHC), exchanging agricultural know-how, as well as promoting sustainable consumption and production through the ASEAN Centre for Sustainable Development Studies and Dialogue (ACSDSD) located in Thailand.
This ASEAN–India Senior Officials’ Meeting reflected the dynamism of ASEAN-India relations as a Strategic Partnership as well as highlighted the role of Thailand as current Country Coordinator for ASEAN-India Dialogue Relations (for the term 2018-2021), which contribute to promoting peace, security and prosperity in the region.
Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of Thailand