German political foundations with local initiatives in Thailand are bodies supported by the German parliament, which are fundamental entities that support political activities at the national level. They are currently 6 foundations, which loosely act as Think Tanks and with common aspiration to promote democracy and rule of law. These foundations often organise activities overseas in an effort to advance the concept of international political parties without interceding in political entities of the receiving country. Out of the six, the following four are present in Thailand.
- Konrad Adenauer Foundation (Christian Democratic Union Party) with policy that supports parliamentary system, rule of law, good governance and involvement of civil society.
- Frederic Neumann Foundtion (Free Democratic Party) with policy which tackles rule of law and open economy
- Heinrich Boll Foundation (Green Party) which promotes environmental policy and free press.
- Hanns Seidel Foundation (Christian Social Union Party) which promotes development and social inclusion.
The Prime Minister expressed appreciation for the opportunity to meet the aforementioned political foundations and admired variuos initiatives being put forward in Thailand for betterment of Thai society. In keeping with this, Thai political figures have also been granted the opportunity to receive training on democracy in Germany. In this connection, Ms. Yingluck affirmed that her Government will continue to support these political foundations with an effort to further cooperate and promote public participation in democratic processes to ensure that the country will move forward in a positive direction, with rule of law and good governance.
On this note, PM Yingluck reiterated her determination to moving towards true reconciliation and stability in the country in order to create trust among all the Thais and foreigners. As a female leader, the premier will use her feminine qualities, reflecting peace and reconciliation, towards solving social problems. On this occasion, representatives from the foundations expressed trust in the role of the Prime Minister and the government policies, which aim to solve current problems while paving the way for a more peaceful society. The representatives also stood firm in supporting the Thai government in development of Thai politics, which aims to benefit all the Thai people.
Later at 19hr00, PM Yingluck gave a keynote speech at the reception in celebration of the 150th anniversary of Thailand-Germany diplomatic relations. What follows is the summary of the speech.
PM Yingluck expressed appreciation for the longstanding diplomatic relations between the two nations and the trade value, which currently amounts over 9 billion USD, reflecting Thailand’s biggest trade partner from Europe. Democratic values and human rights have laid a robust foundation between the two nations in a number of cooperation in fight against various challenges of humanity, including gaps between gender equity and development.
Further, the Prime Minister expressed confidence in Germany’s economic structure in creating stability in the EU and believed that, with support from other European states, it will surpass the current crisis in the near future. With regards to ASEAN, a single market in 2015 will serve the population of over 600 million. This will unequivocally have an impact on the global economic growth, and Thailand, with its willingness to support future trade and investment, is ready to be the partner of Germany and the European Union.
With relevance to trade, Thailand had 15 per cent of its total import from Germany in the previous year. This included plastic, steel and chemical products, which have proved important in the Thai market. Growing imports from Germany and the EU will also help to stimulate employment as well as further investment in the country. The Thai government recently injected over 73 billion USD in a number of infrastructure projects in building high-speed train and expanding the international airport, among other projects, to accommodate trade and investment, as well as increasing number of tourists form Germany. Such a project plan will also prove as a significant strategy in preparation for ASEAN and the regional building efforts. In particular, current development of Dawei deep-sea port in Myanmar will help connect Bangkok and Lem Chabang, which will ease connectivity between Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. In building a strong regional bloc, Thailand also welcomes more imports from Germany. In particular, it seeks for advanced technology from Germany to help create green economy, which will prove fundamental to building a sustainable cooperation between both nations.
On the occasion, the Prime Minister tossed in celebration of 150th year anniversary with the expansion of trade and investment in order to achieve goals in all areas of the partnership between Thailand and Germany.