Thailand Hosts Asia-Middle East Dialogue

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BANGKOK, Dec 15 – The 3rd Asia and Middle East Dialogue (AMED III) is now taking place in Bangkok under the theme “Strengthening Cooperation towards Common Prosperity” Dec 15 and 16 at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center.

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva presided over the opening ceremony on Thursday morning.

This meeting is recognised as one of the largest gatherings of dignitaries from Asia and the Middle East and at least 36 countries are attending.

Eighteen delegations are headed by foreign ministers and deputy ministers of foreign affairs, while other delegations will be led by high-ranking government officials.

The AMED Meeting is different from any other forum, being conducted in plenary and panel discussions.

Policy makers, leading academics, as well as experts from the public, private and civil society sectors, will discuss and share their views in panels covering a wide range of political, economic, and social aspects, especially the challenges that Asia and the Middle East are facing such as counter-terrorism, piracy, energy and food security, and climate change.

Host Thailand will use the opportunity to express its readiness and potential to the international community as the world’s rice-based breadbasket, a hub for medical and health tourism, and a prime tourist destination.  Also, this special event will certainly boost investors confidence which will increase trade volumes and place Thailand as a favorite tourist destination.

In addition, all Thai sectors will have an opportunity to learn and understand about the Middle East people and the overview of the region as well as the AMED state members in various aspects including their religion, culture, tradition, and society.

AMED consists of members from 50 participant countries in Asia and the Middle East. The ministerial meeting is held biennially in venues alternating between Asia and the Middle East. Its inaugural session was in Singapore in 2005, while AMED II was in Egypt in 2008. Voluntary, informal and flexible, its participants include not only government officials but also the private sector, academics and non-governmental organisations.

Outcome documents of AMED are in the form of non-binding policy recommendations to be submitted to participating governments for their consideration.

AMED was initiated from the idea of the former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong of Singapore in 2004 who perceived the increasing role of the Middle East in the world today and the great opportunities that will strengthen cooperation between the two regions for greater mutual benefit.

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