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H.E. General Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.), Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand addresses the opening ceremony of the 17th China-ASEAN Expo and China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit via video

Remarks by
H.E. General Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.), 
Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, 
at the Opening Ceremony of the 17th China-ASEAN EXPO, 
Friday, 27 November 2020, via videoconference 
Your Excellency President Xi Jinping, 
Your Excellencies, 
Distinguished Guests, 
1. I am pleased to attend the Opening Ceremony of the 17th China-ASEAN EXPO and convey warmest greetings to you all from Thailand today. I wish to commend the Government of the People’s Republic of China, the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, the China-ASEAN EXPO Secretariat and all involved in organising this event despite limitations and challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 
2. The COVID-19 crisis has made us realise the importance of friendship and international cooperation even more. We have witnessed weaknesses that need to be improved, and strengths that need to be further enhanced and developed. Importantly, we have seen opportunities to overcome the existed limitations in order to move forward to the new normal together. 
3. The China-ASEAN EXPO this year is of particular significance, whereby governments and public sectors have worked together to promote adaptability of doing business to be in line with the new normal, and to seek expeditiously and boost economic opportunities for the private sector, on trade, investment, services and tourism, as well as to promote uses of advanced technology. in order to assure all sectors that “we will together overcome this crisis and build back even better than before”. 
Your Excellency Mr. President and Distinguished Guests, 
4. ASEAN is China’s number-one trading partner. This demonstrates the friendship and collaboration between ASEAN and China through the various economic agreements, which we have continued to implement together, particularly the upgrading of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement. As this year marks the 10th anniversary of the Agreement, we should therefore take this opportunity to enhance and diversify our cooperation even further. This includes the ASEAN-China cooperation in digital economy, development of digital infrastructure that can be accessible by small businesses and people, and the development of financing innovations and capacity building for MSMEs, start-ups and local entrepreneurs, which are the growth engines of our grassroots economy, to ensure their access to appropriate finance facility and better equip them with necessary skills. 
5. On the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the establishment of Thailand-China diplomatic relations this year and the 30th anniversary of the ASEAN-China dialogue relations next year, let us join hands and hearts and unite as one to get through this crisis and become even stronger. This is for our region to maintain security, prosperity and sustainability, founded upon the better quality of our people’s lives. 
6. Lastly, May I join others in the opening of the 17th ASEAN-China EXPO and wish for all success and accomplishment of this event. 
7. Thank you/ Sawasdee krub. 
CAEXPO Secretariat 2020-11-27 15:33:34