Director-General of Department of American and South Pacific Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand and the First Assistant Secretary, US & Indo-Pacific Strategy Division, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia, led the Thai-Australian delegation discussing perspectives on the international strategic environment and development in ASEAN and the Indo-Pacific region in the 1st Indo-Pacific Strategic Dialogue between Thailand-Australia.
On 29 July 2021, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand co-hosted, with the Australian side, the 1st Indo-Pacific Strategic Dialogue between Thailand and Australia via teleconference. Mr. Witchu Vejjajiva, Director-General of Department of American and South Pacific Affairs, and Mr. Craig Chittick, First Assistant Secretary, US & Indo-Pacific Strategy Division, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia, led the Thai and Australian delegations respectively.
This inaugural Dialogue is one of the activities under the Strategic Partnership between Thailand and Australia announced by the two Prime Ministers in November 2020. It provides an opportunity for both sides to exchange perspectives on the evolving international strategic environment and impacts on developments in ASEAN and the Indo-Pacific region, as well as to explore meaningful ways how Thailand and Australia, as Strategic Partners, could work together to effectively manage and respond to the current and new challenges and opportunities.
On the regional front, the two sides are committed to working together to promote sustainable and tangible development in the Mekong sub-region through existing frameworks, including ACMECS and the Mekong-Australia Partnership initiated by Australia. They also exchanged their views on situations in South China Sea and Myanmar, whereby ASEAN was regarded as a key actor in addressing the challenges. Apart from that, the Australian side reiterated its continued support to ASEAN Centrality and the commitment to enhance cooperation under the ASEAN-Australia partnership.
Under the Thailand-Australia Strategic Partnership, the two sides are currently working together to develop a Joint Plan of Action which will lay out the details of future cooperation. During the Dialogue, they agreed to enhance cooperation in key priority areas. Firstly, Thailand and Australia will work together to promote public health cooperation in responding to the current COVID-19 outbreak and other future emerging diseases. Secondly, they are committed to promoting sustainable economic recovery, particularly in new areas related to Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) economy in which Australia also has various strengths, as well as development of resilient and reliable value chain. Last but not least, with the awareness and mutual concerns over the worsening human security and transnational crime problems during this COVID-19 outbreak, Thailand and Australia will continue to strengthen their cooperation to effectively fight against narcotics, money laundering, human trafficking and child exploitation.