ASEAN should start allowing safe travel to revive economies, says Thai PM Prayuth
26 Oct 2021
ASEAN should start reopening and allow safe travel to revive Covid-19 pandemic-hit economies in the region, says Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan o-cha.
Citing Thailand as an example, he said the kingdom has already opened up pilot areas under the Phuket Sandbox programme to welcome foreign tourists and will gradually open up more areas in other provinces for international tourism.
“ASEAN Travel Corridor Arrangement Framework should be utilized, with mutual recognition of vaccines and vaccine certificates to facilitate business travel, and later tourism,” he said in his intervention at the 38th and 39th ASEAN Summits and Related Summits via a videoconference on Tuesday.
Prayuth said ASEAN should avoid unnecessary measures that might hinder the movement of goods to ensure our supply chain connectivity during the pandemic and make greater use of the intra-ASEAN market to stimulate our regional economy.
The Covid-19 crisis underlines the vulnerability of the region in coping with emerging threats that might arise beyond expectations, he said.
Prayuth added that ASEAN should further strengthen preparedness in response to emerging diseases and bolster public health security in the long run, including through promoting cooperation on research and development on vaccines to attain vaccine security and self-reliance in the region.
“Currently, Thailand is on track in the development of Covid-19 vaccines and the country is ready to cooperate with other ASEAN member states on this matter,” he said.
Prayuth reaffirmed Thailand’s commitment to jointly advancing the ASEAN Community and forging greater regional integration, so that ASEAN could continue to serve as a major driving force of the global economy and society.