US-ABC and U.S. Chamber of Commerce convene U.S. business leaders to honor Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on sidelines of UN General Assembly

(New York City) - The US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce were pleased to host His Excellency General Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.), Prime Minister of Thailand on the sidelines of the 74th UN General Assembly in New York on September 25.  The occasion marked Prime Minister Prayut's first visit to the United States since being re-elected during Thailand’s March 2019 elections, the country’s first elections in eight years.

Prime Minister Prayut met and addressed U.S. business leaders, convened by the US-ABC and U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  Business leaders were able to hear about the new Royal Thai Government’s priorities and agenda for political and economic reform from the Prime Minister. The new government officially assumed duties in July.

“The Council was honored to receive Prime Minister Prayut after having the opportunity to engage with him in Bangkok with 46 of our member companies just last month,” said Alexander C. Feldman, President and CEO of the US-ASEAN Business Council. “Prime Minister Prayut this year has overseen Thailand’s successful leadership as 2019 ASEAN Chair and the country’s pathway of growth. ASEAN is America's fourth largest goods export market globally, the fourth largest export destination for U.S. agriculture and the number one destination for American foreign direct investment in Asia. We look forward to continuing our positive, collaborative relationship with Prime Minister Prayut as he works to streamline the business approval process in Thailand and make ASEAN’s second-largest economy even more attractive for American companies.”

“We are pleased with the overall trajectory of the U.S.-Thailand bilateral relationship,” said Myron Brilliant, executive vice president and head of International Affairs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  “We are eager to deepen our economic partnership with Thailand, especially as it grapples with the effects of global trade tensions and positions itself to better compete for trade and investment opportunities.  We appreciate Thailand hosting the 2nd annual Indo-Pacific Business Forum this November and look forward to participating in that important event.” 

In August, just a few weeks after the new Thai government assumed official duties, the US-ABC led a record-breaking 2019 Thailand Business Mission. The August mission was the US-ABC’s largest ever business mission to any single ASEAN nation. A group of more than 100 U.S. business leaders representing 46 companies attended the mission, meeting Prime Minister Prayut and newly appointed Cabinet members, senior Government officials, and other key stakeholders in Thailand.

Thai representatives at the event accompanying Prime Minister Prayut included:

  • H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • H.E. Mr. Varawut Silpa-archa, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment
  • H.E. Mr. Thani Thongphakdi, Appointed Ambassador of Thailand to the United States of America
  • H.E. Mr. Vitavas Srivihok, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Thailand to the United Nations
  • Mr. Distat Hotrakitya, Secretary-General to the Prime Minister
  • H.E. Mrs. Busaya Mathelin, Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs
  • Professor Narumon Pinyosinwat, Government Spokesperson
  • Mr. Witchu Vejjajiva, Director General, Department of American and South Pacific Affairs
  • Ms. Vorawan Norasucha, Director, Thailand Board of Investment, New York Office
  • Mr. Alongkorn Poonlabat, Senior Advisor to the Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives

Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Keith Krach introduced Prime Minister Prayut at the event. Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs David R. Stilwell, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Energy Resources Francis R. Fannon and other representatives from the U.S. Department of State were present.

H.E. Jose Manuel G. Romualdez, Ambassador of the Republic of the Philippines to the United States of America and H.E. Khamphan Anlavan and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic to the United States of America also attended.

The reception in Prime Minister Prayut’s honor was generously sponsored by Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Gilead, Herbalife International, PepsiCo, Phillip Morris International and TE Connectivity.
 

Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Keith Krach, His Excellency General Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.), Prime Minister of Thailand, U.S. Chamber of Commerce executive vice president and head of International Affairs Myron Brilliant and President and CEO of the US-ASEAN Business Council Alexander C. Feldman meet before the reception in the Prime Minister's honor on the sidelines of UN General Assembly.

President and CEO of the US-ASEAN Business Council Alexander C. Feldman, H.E. Mr. Thani Thongphakdi, Appointed Ambassador of Thailand to the United States of America, U.S. Chamber of Commerce executive vice president and head of International Affairs Myron Brilliant, and His Excellency General Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.), Prime Minister of Thailand enter the event venue. 

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations. Its International Affairs division includes more than 80 regional and policy experts and 25 country- and region-specific business councils and initiatives. The U.S. Chamber also works closely with 117 American Chambers of Commerce abroad.

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For 35 years, the US-ASEAN Business Council has been the premier advocacy organization for US corporations operating within the dynamic Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Worldwide, the Council's membership, more than 160 companies, generate over $6 trillion in revenue and employ more than 13 million people globally. Members include the largest US companies conducting business in ASEAN, and range from newcomers to the region to companies that have been working in Southeast Asia for over 100 years. The Council has offices in: Washington, DC; New York, NY; Bangkok, Thailand; Hanoi, Vietnam; Jakarta, Indonesia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Manila, Philippines; and Singapore.