PM asks US to review Thailand’s PWL status

Among other issues discussed with Rex W Tillerson, the United States secretary of state, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has asked the US to review Thailand’s status on the Priority Watch List, deputy government spokesman Werachon Sukondhapatipak said on Tuesday (Aug 8).

Lt Gen Werachon said this after Mr Tillerson paid a courtesy call on Gen Prayut at Government House at 2pm for talks on various issues.

Before the talks, the US secretary of state signed a book of condolences for the passing of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Gen Prayut stressed that Thailand attaches importance on the relations with the US, which plays important roles in the world community regarding security, human-trafficking, terrorism, transnational crimes and natural disasters.  He said Thailand is ready to render support for such roles of the US.

In the field of economy, the two countries have agreed to forge closer ties.  They are of the opinion that economic relations between the two countries have increased prominently with support and convenience provided by the two governments.

Since Thailand is in the process of developing the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) under the Thailand 4.0 policy and one of the important targets is to develop U-Taphao airport for commercial use and several US investors have shown interests in it, Gen Prayut hopes the project will attract more US investments.

Gen Prayut also said the Thai government attaches high importance on the protection of intellectual property in line with its 4.0 policy.  He hopes the US will review Thailand’s status on the Priority Watch List (PWL).  Thailand is currently among 10 countries subject to be specially watched.

Regarding security, Thailand and the US agree they have had a long history of cooperation in this field.

On human-trafficking, Gen Prayut said his government has attached importance on this issue from the first day of his taking the office and has adopted it a national agenda.

On regional issues including the South China Sea and the Korean Peninsula, he said Thailand is ready to support the US for regional peace and comply with the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council.

On the Thai political situation, Gen Prayut stressed the government’s adherence to its roadmap to sustainable democracy.

Mr Tillerson said as former executive of Esso Exploratin and Production in Nakhon Ratchasima for three years and the job required him to travel to Thailand for many times, so he is quite familiar with Thailand.

On the occasion of Gen Prayut’s official visit to the US, Mr Tillerson hopes to welcome the Thai prime minister to Washingdon DC soon.  The two sides are working out a suitable schedule for his visit.

Gen Prayut, meanwhile, told the media that his visit to the US is initially scheduled for October.