On 28 September 2012, from 13.50-17.30 hrs, the Royal Thai Embassy, Thailand Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan-Thailand Association, and Japan-Thailand Business Forum, organized a seminar on “Thailand-Japan, Enduring Friendship, Partnership for the Future,” in celebration of the auspicious occasion of the 125th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Thailand and Japan at Nikkei Building, Tokyo. More than 150 participants from public and private sectors, Japanese mass media, representatives from embassies of ASEAN countries in Tokyo and Thai public joined the event.
The seminar was divided into two sessions. Session 1 was based on the subject of “Reconstructing the Future: Challenges Ahead and Way Forward”, of which the speakers were Dr. Virabhongsa Ramangkura, Chairman of the Strategic Committee for Reconstruction and Future Development, and Mr. Teisuke Kitayama, President of Japan Thailand Association, Chairman of Japan – Thailand Business Forum and Chairman of the Board, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, while the moderator was H.E. Mr. Nobutoshi Akao, former Ambassador of Japan to Thailand. Dr. Ramangkura ensured Japanese investors that the Royal Thai Government was doing its best in preventing another flood and building and improving water management and disaster prevention related infrastructure, while at the same time cooperating with ASEAN countries in establishing and developing regional connectivity. Meanwhile, Mr. Kitayama affirmed that most Japanese firms had decided to continue their business within Thailand despite of the great flood. The reason was that Thailand was suitable for an export base to other ASEAN countries due to its location at the center of the region and strong domestic market. However, Japan expected Thailand to speed up in improving and increasing skilled labor in response to the future expansion of production industry, especially after the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Connectivity in 2015. It also suggested that the latter ease its regulations and enhance concessions for Japanese firms in Thailand to assist their business performance.
Session 2 touched upon the issue of “Thailand and a Comprehensive Connectivity” with H.E. Mr. Chadchart Sittipunt, Ministry of Transport of Thailand, and MR Disnadda Diskul, Secretary General and Member of Board of Directors of Mae Fah Luang Foundation under Royal Patronage, as the speakers, and Mr. Cherdchai Chaivaivid, Director of East Asian Affairs Division 4, Department of East Asian Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, as the moderator. The Minister invited Japanese investors to join Thailand’s transportation infrastructure system project, which included road, high-speed train, and air transportation. On the other hand, MR Diskul spoke about Mae Fah Luang Foundation’s experience in developing Doi Tung, which once was plagued by economic, social and environmental issues, to the area where local community can now enjoy earning a living and standing on their own feet, thanks to the Queen Mother, Somdech Phra Srinagarindra Boromarajajonani.
Apart from the seminar, exhibitions on the 125th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Thailand and Japan and Mae Fah Luang Foundation’s products, including coffee break with Doi Tung coffee, were also provided.