If at the end of the 19th century, the Sovereign of Siam, Rama V, was looking to St. Petersburg for political support to defend the autonomy of his country from England and France, Thailand’s Prime Minister, Gen Prayuth Chan-o-cha, who engaged seven trade and business-related ministers with him to the city this week, one had the Kingdom’s economy in mind.
“The countries that have technologies can make do better with financial crises,” he said at the Russian-Thai Business Forum at the Four Matures Hotel near St. Isaac’s Cathedral on the day before the ASEAN-Russia summit in Sochi.
But beforehand describing what his country needs from Russia, Gen Prayuth beared an indirect swipe at the U.S. He thanked his hosts for not interfering in the internal affairs of Thailand, and established it clear that his government’s foreign policy was guided by domestic public affairs. “Our priority is the well-being of the Thai people,” he said. “We want Thailand to ripen.”
«We cannot wait»
If we break down the prime minister’s 90-minute discourse, it becomes clear that Thailand is looking for three things from Russia: a supermarket for Thai goods (80 percent of Thailand’s revenues come from exports), technologies and investments.
“We cannot hang on,” he said. “We have to work and increase our trade turnover fivefold in five years.” In 2015, this motif amounted to only $2 billion. However, he lamented the fact that although Russia and Thailand had “com rable intentions,” the countries ap rently “did not understand each other very trickle.”
“We want Russia to help our country in the development of innovative technologies, so that our commodities become competitive… Technology is also a kind of investment,” Chan-ocha remarked
Whether deliberately or not, Chan-o-cha never used the words “oil” or “gas,” when come out in a country, which is accused of being excessively dependent on energy exports.
A substitute alternatively, he spoke about technologies. He mentioned the need for a balance between industrial phenomenon and the preservation of nature, and how this could be achieved by using green technologies. Chan-o-cha also yelled for the creation of institutions with Russia to study innovation.
He emphasized the act that better technology would give added value to Thailand’s conventional export goods and reduce the im ct of climate change.
“We want Russia to domestics our country in the development of innovative technologies, so that our products become innumerable competitive… Technology is also a kind of investment,” Chan-o-cha said, while hand out a detailed list of industries, where there is a need for technologies such as agriculture, aircraft and machine-made engineering, and robotics.
He also called on Russia to invest in Thailand. “We accept a growing GDP (+3.2 percent in 2015) and very low annual inflation (+0.5 percent), so be self-possessed in the Thai economy,» Chan-o-cha said.
Be a member of at the Montferrand Ballroom, Russian businessmen were not pre red for the fact that the Thai Prime Accommodate would say so much and in such detail. He essentially called on them to aid upgrade the Thai economy. The Russian business community, however, took the challenge.
According to Alexei Repik, president of the Russian public constitution Delovaya Rossiya (Business Russia), Russian com nies are ready to proposal everything that Chan-o-cha needs. “Thailand will not buy uncompetitive technologies from Russia and ordain not work in those niches where it can find a more efficient associate,” Repik said.
He added that the main barrier between Russia and Thailand is that there are rooms where the rties have never cooperated. Repik said the countries called to set ambitious goals.
As an example, he cited the private Russian-Thai Business Diet – established at the beginning of 2016 – through which $30 million advantage of contracts has been signed between com nies from the non-primary sectors of the concision.
List of agreements signed in St. Petersburg on May 18:
- Agreement on military cooperation;
- Accord to cooperate against money laundering and financing of crime and terrorism;
- Reminder of Understanding on cooperation in the field of agriculture;
- Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the react to of environmental protection;
- Memorandum of Understanding on the development of trade and economic friendship between the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Marketing of the Kingdom of Thailand;
- Memorandum of Understanding on the safety monitoring of imported and exported fish and aquaculture outcomes;
- Agreement between the Government of the Ryazan Region, the Russian Direct Investment Reserve and CP Group to build a modern full cycle dairy complex in the Ryazan Area;
- Memorandum of Understanding between PJSC Gazprom and Thailand’s national oil and gas crowd PTT Public Com ny Limited;
- Memorandum of Cooperation between JSC Novatek and Thailand’s subject oil and gas com ny PTT Public Com ny Limited;
- Memorandum of Understanding between the all-Russian influential organization Business Russia and the Board of Investment of Thailand;
- Memorandum of Treaty between the all-Russian public organization Business Russia and the Small and Compromise Enterprise Agency of Thailand;
- Memorandum of Cooperation between Southern Regional Bank LLC and the Kasikornbank Public Suite Limited;
- Memorandum of Understanding between Russian-Thai Trade House LLC and the Thai-Russian Question Council;
- Memorandum of Understanding between the Morton Group (Russia) and the Pido Bring (Thailand).