Thailand’s APEC Limelight is Being Rocked by Events Outside its Control

That chairing Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting is something that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha looks forward to, as it may be his final triumph after 8 long years in office but the road leading to this triumphant event is not looking smoot.

The crowing moment for his career would be when the leaders of some of the world’s leading economies, who had initially shunned him after the 2014 putsch against the Yingluck Shinawatra government, surround the coup leader as part of the ritual for the photo op.

On the bright side for Prayut, Chinese president Xi Jinping will be there, in his first visit to Thailand as president likely just after securing a norm-breaking third term. Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, will also attend as the personal guest of the prime minister; the same goes for Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman, fresh off the recent defrosting of Saudi-Thai relations.

At the same time, the government will get to promote its Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) Economy Model, which Bangkok champions as a promising strategy for sustainable economic growth in the post-pandemic world.

Yet all of this misses the point. The focus in the international community in the lead-up to APEC has, unfortunately, not been on Thailand’s BCG model, nor has it been on the guests Prayut will be able to host in Bangkok. In a world overshadowed by Ukraine, the sailing towards APEC has not at all been smooth.

Click here to read the full piece at Thai Enquirer.

(Cover image credits)






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