On 11 August 2021, H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, and H.E. Mr. MOTEGI Toshimitsu, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, co-chaired the 5th Meeting of the Thailand – Japan High Level Joint Commission (HLJC) via teleconference. They were joined by relevant economic Ministers of both sides, namely: H.E. Mr. Saksayam Chidchob, Minister of Transport, H.E. Mr. Anek Laothamatas, Minister of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation, H.E. Mr. Dheerayut Varnitshang, Vice Minister of Industry, and H.E. Mr. Newin Chochaiyathip, Vice Minister of Digital Economy and Society on the Thai side; and H.E. Mr. KUMADA Hiromichi, State Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications, and H.E. Mr. NAGASAKA Yasumasa, State Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, H.E. Mr. WATANABE Takeyuki, Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, on the Japanese side. Senior representatives from the concerned Thai and Japanese agencies also attended the Meeting.
In his opening remarks, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand emphasized that the HLJC provided an opportunity for both sides to further advance cooperation to strengthen the strategic economic partnership between Thailand and Japan with a view to building back stronger together and in line with the changing environment, as well as to promote a new paradigm of growth for future development in a balanced and sustainable way. The importance of the HLJC, he noted, was confirmed by the special message from H.E. Mr. SUGA Yoshihide, Prime Minister of Japan, as the co-founder and former co-chair of the HLJC, prior to this Meeting.
Both sides discussed three key agendas.
First, on Collaboration between Thailand’s Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) Economy Model and Japan’s Green Growth Strategy, both sides agreed to advance cooperation for concrete results.
Second, on Cooperation in Trade, Investment, Industrial Development and Enhancement of Business Environment, the two sides exchanged views on multilateral economic frameworks, including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement of Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement, as well as cooperation on smart cities under Japan’s Smart City supported by Japan ASEAN Mutual Partnership (Smart JAMP) project in Phuket, Bangkok and Chonburi province, which is the location of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).
Third, on Cooperation for Connectivity Enhancement, Development of the Mekong Sub-region, and Healthcare Field, both sides reaffirmed to continue cooperation on the development of the high quality infrastructure to promote transport connectivity in the East West Economic Corridor (EWEC) and Southern Economic Corridor (SEC). Regarding cooperation on healthcare, the Thai side expressed appreciation to the Japanese side for the goodwill in providing assistance to help alleviate the COVID-19 situation in Thailand, including the provision of 1,053,090 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines and other forms of assistance, and proposed further cooperation on vaccines, while the Japanese sides expressed the readiness to cooperate with Thailand to overcome the pandemic together.
With a view to further advancing cooperation between Thailand and Japan, the Thai side proposed for both sides to discuss drafting of a Joint Strategic Plan on Thailand-Japan Strategic Economic Partnership for the next five years.
During the Meeting, the Thai and Japanese sides also signed four economic agreements between relevant agencies, which would significantly contribute to the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. These are:
(1) Memorandum of Cooperation on Postal Cooperation between the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society of Thailand and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan, with the objective of enhancing information and data sharing channels and postal service quality between the two countries;
(2) Memorandum of Cooperation between the Ministry of Public Health of the Kingdom of Thailand, the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation of the Kingdom of Thailand and the Ministry of Industry of the Kingdom of Thailand, and the Office of Healthcare Policy, the Cabinet Secretariat of Japan, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan in the field of Healthcare, which will serve as a framework for healthcare cooperation between Thailand and Japan, especially in the fields of medical, public health infrastructural development, vaccine, medical device industry, universal health coverage and medical human resource development;
(3) Memorandum of Understanding on Technology Research and Development Cooperation between the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), Thailand, and the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), Japan, which will be a framework to deepen collaboration in technologies and innovations of Bio-Circular-Green Economy for sustainable and eco-friendly economic growth based on the complementarities between Thailand’s BCG Economy Model and Japan’s Green Growth Strategy; and
(4) Memorandum of Cooperation on Lean IoT Plant management and Execution (LIPE) between the Department of Industrial Promotion, Ministry of Industry of Thailand, Digital Economy Promotion Agency (“depa”), Ministry of Digital Economy and Society of Thailand, and the Trade Policy Bureau and Trade and Economic Cooperation Bureau, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan, which will help Thai manufacturers including SMEs strengthen capacity for the transition from industrial production to smart factory oriented manufacture through human resource development as well as the implementation of technologies, IoT, and data exchanges with reasonable investment.
The Joint Press Statement was issued following the HLJC Meeting at https://www.mfa.go.th/en/content/jsthaijapan?cate=5d5bcb4e15e39c306000683e