Business / Economy

China's role in promoting regional connectivity appreciated: Thai official

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-11-19 14:58

KUALA LUMPUR -- Thailand appreciates China for its constructive role in promoting regional connectivity through various initiatives including the establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the launch of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, a senior Thai official said.

"We believe that effective connectivity would help promote trade, investment and tourism within and between the regions," Vitavas Srivihok, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told Xinhua in a recent interview.

With this endeavor, business people will have more opportunities to expand their businesses while many people shall enjoy fast, safe and convenient travel, leading to closer interaction and better understanding, Vitavas commented.

The 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, the official said, will not only connect China with the ASEAN, but also link them up with other countries and outer regions along the road.

"This would spur growth and bring more opportunities for mutual benefit, such as the promotion of maritime commerce, disaster relief, search and rescue, environmental protection and conservation," Vitavas said.

Moreover, ASEAN and China may cooperate to promote maritime and coastal tourism, in which Thailand stands ready to play a role, particularly in the marine cruise business, he added.

Thailand is of the view, Vitavas stressed, that building an effective 21st Century Maritime Silk Road will require cooperation from all stakeholders, especially the coastal states.

Such cooperation is needed in developing infrastructure and facilities, i.e. ports, roll-on/roll-off system, port city network, as well as professional management, including safety of navigation, to ensure that maritime connectivity along the Maritime Silk Road serves the interests of all countries and promote development of the region's maritime economy, he said.

"We also have to secure financial resources such as from the AIIB or through public-private-partnerships and help put forward connectivity projects under the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity so that our efforts will be tangible, sustainable and inclusive," the deputy permanent secretary said.

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