Month: June 2022

Thailand shelf 300-baht tourism fee

Thailand shelf 300-baht tourism fee

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports has announced that it will suspend collection of 300-baht tourism fees until the fourth quarter of this year, and will offer to cancel the Thailand Pass, which begins next month.

Tourism and Sports Minister Fifat Rachakitprakorn has announced that the ministry has decided to withdraw a proposal to implement a tourism fee to conduct additional research on the matter. In the light of tourists who stay in the country only one or two nights, he believes that tourist fees for land arrivals should be reconsidered.

The ministry will submit the proposal to the cabinet within two months after implementation of the fee, 90 days after the publication of the Royal Gazette. It suggests that the start date could be between the fourth quarter of this year and the first quarter of 2023.

The Thailand pass will be canceled in July

Pifat said the next meeting of the Centre’s Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) for international arrivals to cancel Thai pass registration would attract more tourists, as they would no longer need to buy travel insurance or contracts. Including complex entry procedures. Thailand’s tourism authorities will meet with tourism operators to discuss any stress concerns at the next CCSA meeting.

Information and sources

  • Reporter: Cranjoite Johjit
  • Rewrite: Thammarat Thadafram
  • National News Bureau: http://thainews.prd.go.th

A third UK worker works remotely with technical issues

A third UK worker works remotely with technical issues

A new study has found that one-third of UK office workers have problems with their workplace technology, which can take an average of more than three days to replace.

When 8 out of 10 people in the UK agree that flexible work is what it means for an IT department already struggling to stay here? Simply put, this means that IT departments need to be smart about how they support their workforce – and fast.

The findings are part of an independent research report entitled ‘Variable Behavior of a Flexible Workforce in 2022 and beyond’, commissioned by smart locker provider Velocity Smart Technology. The study explores how offices will change in 2022 and how business leaders can support the future of IT support.

Despite apparent pressure from the IT department over the past two years, 4 out of 10 UK workers actually say that their support from the IT department has improved.

Anthony Lamorex, CEO of Velocity Smart Technology, said, “Reducing employee downtime due to IT failures was a constant challenge when most employees were office based, now it has become an almost impossible problem as more than 100 employees can be deployed. , Sometimes 1000 miles. “

On average, it takes just over three days to get replacement hardware from an IT department, which often requires face-to-face interaction with IT consultants to access new or replacement hardware. More than half of UK workers (52%) report that they have to collect it from the IT department themselves, or have a member of the IT support team deliver it.

This unnecessary interaction is extremely frustrating for the IT support team who are working as delivery men and women and is fatally detrimental to overall productivity.

Lamoureux continues, “Many times, replacing laptops, tables and phones can be pre-configured and set up online, so why are expensive, on-demand IT resources forced to act as postal services? It’s not just employees wasting time; It’s a hugely inefficient IT support model – especially when proven alternatives are fast and preferred. “

In a 2020 survey by Velocity Smart, 19% of employees confirmed that they would prefer to collect hardware from a smart locker – and for good reason.

“Smart lockers are not just a logical extension of the trend of self-service access to IT services, but companies need to adapt more to support an increased workforce, while working flexibly to stay here.”

“Employees can access the new kit in 45 minutes – instead of three days – reducing downtime and productivity impact. There is a significant saving of time for support staff. It is more efficient on all fronts – only 1% of UK companies still offer this option. That’s the decent thing to do, and it should end there. ” Lamoureux Conclusion.

In a recent survey, three-quarters of UK employees were positive about the idea of ​​using smart lockers to replace IT equipment. Adopting this approach not only gives employees 24/7 access to IT tools but also helps IT support to meet the challenges of supporting a flexible, hybrid workforce.


Bank of Thailand keeps policy rate unchanged at 0.5%

Bank of Thailand keeps policy rate unchanged at 0.5%

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted 4 to 3 to maintain the policy rate at 0.50 percent. Three members voted in favor of raising the policy rate by 0.25 percentage points.

The Bank of Thailand has kept its core policy rate unchanged at 0.5%, amid mounting price pressures and tightening monetary policy by its peers.

The committee assessed that the Thai economy would continue to recover and could expand faster than previously expected due to strong domestic demand and the pickup of foreign tourists.

Headline inflation is estimated at 6.2 percent

Headline inflation is projected at 6.2 percent in 2022 and 2.5 percent in 2023. Inflation will surpass the target in 2022 due to rising domestic energy prices and a wide range of higher cost passthroughs across a wide range of products.

The split of votes by the Monetary Policy Committee (4 to 3) points to the recent resurgence of inflation, which reached a 14-year high of 7.1% in May.

For this year, the Monetary Policy Committee estimates that the country’s inflation will reach 6.2%, higher than the previous forecast of 4.9%.

However, the committee further assessed that the Thai economy would expand to 3.3 percent in 2022 and 4.2 percent in 2023 on the back of a better-than-expected recovery in domestic use, especially in the services sector. Arrivals of foreign tourists have also improved following the rapid relaxation of border controls in Thailand and other countries.

Foreign arrivals are projected to reach 6 million this year, which is expected to rise to 19 million next year.

The overall financial system remains resilient. Commercial banks have provisions for high level capital adequacy and credit losses. Liquidity remains sufficient in the financial system, although the distribution of liquidity still varies across the economic sector. Some families and businesses remain at risk for rising living and production costs because their incomes have not been fully recovered without their high levels of debt.

The Bank of Thailand will put a brake on interest rates, even as other central banks begin to tighten monetary policy, as long as inflation in Thailand remains within a small set, its governor told Nikkei Asia in an exclusive interview.

Is an acre of gold valuable?

Is an acre of gold valuable?

Whenever prices rise, people rush to buy gold. Why is that? Because gold and other precious metals are excellent hedges against inflation. As inflation rises, so does the price of gold.

Gold is also appealing to people who fear the consequences of a sinking of the stock market, especially during an economic downturn.

Chances are, if you’re reading this article, you’ve already decided to invest in gold, so I won’t argue about the pros and cons. Instead, let’s focus on the Acre Gold subscription service to see if this company offers a good vehicle for you to enter the gold market.

What is Acre Gold and how does it work?

Acre Gold is a company that specializes in one product: the gold bar. Once you sign up for the service you will pay for a monthly subscription. When your money is added to the cost of a gold bar, Gold Acre emails it to you. You can take that gold bar and hide it under a floorboard like Silas Marner or keep it in a safe deposit in your bank.

Here are the steps you need to take to begin building your gold bar collection with Acre Gold:

  1. Pay a one-time sign-up fee of $ 12
  2. Choose your subscription, which will cost 50, $ 100, or $ 250 per month
  3. Once your money is added to their bar price, Gold Acre sends it to you.

Gold Acre also has a generous cancellation and refund policy, so you are free to cancel your account at any time. They will buy fractions of their gold. Once they send it to you, you have to sell the gold if you don’t want to hold on anymore.

Nervous about sending you gold in the mail? Gold Acre uses a special prudent shipping method so that your gold stays intact with you and does not sort out dirty neighbors.

You can check out this review for more information on how Gold Acre works.

Where do Gold Acres get their gold?

Gold Acre Gold Bars are custom-made by a Swiss producer. They certify each 2.5-gram bar as 99.99% fine gold.

Gold bars come in an attractive sealed package that is transparent, so you can see the beautiful glow of your investment. Gold Acre stamps its logo on every bar, so you don’t forget where you bought it.

They will send you a custom box for each bar of gold so you can display it if you like it.

To see more information about Gold Acre and start your subscription, click here to get current promotional offers.

What is the alternative to gold acre?

Gold Acres is not the only game in town buying gold and precious metals.

Money Metals is another online bullion exchange. In addition to gold, you can buy silver, copper, palladium, platinum and rhodium. You can buy a variety of precious metals, including coins, bars, jewelry, rounds, penises, and fractions. For 96 per year, they will also save you precious metals.

JM Bullion is another option if you want to buy some precious metals. JM sells gold, silver, copper and palladium in the form of bullion bars and coins. With JM Bullion, you can sell your precious metal to them, saving time finding your own buyer. JM Bullion prides itself on providing the highest buy-back value in the precious metals industry.

You can also invest in precious metals mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. These financial instruments are more liquid than buying real products, so when the time comes you will find it easier to sell them.

But if you want a simple and attractive gold bar with a predictable subscription plan, Gold Acre may be your best option.

Gold Acre: Final Thoughts

If you want to buy gold and retain the actual product, Gold Acre is an excellent service to fulfill your purpose. They offer a transparent, easy-to-understand platform for buying gold bars with three subscription plans. And for as little as 50 per month, you can get into the business of buying gold, making it very accessible to almost any investor.

In addition to your own investment purposes, you can also gift these gold bars to children and grandchildren. These are just some of the goal setting shareware that you can use. And apparently nothing more pleasurable than real gold bars.

Gold Acre is also suitable for investors who do not fully trust banking and financial services When you hold a physical product, you do not have to worry about financial shocks that can cause irreversible losses to the financial institution. Gold can also serve as an excellent hedge for your traditional investment.

If Gold Acre sounds like a good idea, you can click here to choose one of their subscriptions.

The civil service cut will leave Whitehall unable to cope with the pressures of Brexit

The civil service cut will leave Whitehall unable to cope with the pressures of Brexit

In three years, Boris Johnson’s plan to reduce the number of civilian employees to 91,000 – about 20% – would leave Whitehall unable to cope with the huge workload caused by Brexit, independent experts and the union have warned the government.

They say such a reduction would make the state too small to handle the additional responsibilities that Whitehall officials have taken on since the UK left the EU, including trade, agriculture, immigration and business control.

TUC figures released this weekend show that planned cuts would mean the ratio of civilian employees to members of the UK population will fall to a record low following former Chancellor George Osborne’s brutal crackdown, when government departments were asked to push back the numbers. Savings up to 40% after the 2010 general election.

TUC figures show that for every 10,000 UK citizens, the number of civil servants dropped from 76 in 2010 to 59 in 2016, the year of the Brexit referendum. Over the past year, the number has risen to 70 per 10,000 UK citizens to cope with the extra workload of Brexit planning and implementation.

However, if the three-year target of reducing 91,000 is achieved, the TUC says that by 2025 the number of civilian workers will drop to a new low of 56 per 10,000 – despite additional demands on the government from Brexit, the epidemic and the war in Ukraine.

Cabinet ministers and permanent secretaries of all government departments have been given until the end of June to model the situation, including a 20%, 30% and 40% reduction in the number of civilian employees working for them. The overall reduction of 91,000 is very unlikely to be evenly distributed, meaning some parts of the government will be asked to do more than 20% and some less.

Difficulties in managing Brexit’s success by reducing the size of the state are highlighted by separate figures from the Institute for Government (IFG) think tank, which says that since 2016, the Home Office has added 8,400 staff, many of them new immigration policy from the EU and Processing is handling visas.

Both Defra (Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and BEIS (Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Engineering) have increased their staff to 5,000 since 2016, taking on regulatory and policy roles previously performed by EU officials.

Rice Klein, a senior researcher at IFG, told the Observer: “Ministers should explain why they believe that the pre-Brexit size of the civil service in 2016 is the most effective size for the civil service in 2025, almost a decade later.

“The UK government now has new post-Brexit responsibilities that need to be addressed and cannot be omitted or easily undermined.”

Whitehall’s bones are being cut, said Steven Littlewood, assistant general secretary of the First Division Association, which represents senior civil servants.

“Given the new responsibilities of the post-Brexit government for areas such as borders, customs and agriculture, it is impossible to see how the services it currently provides can be provided with the proposed job losses. The government needs to be honest about which services will be reduced if the number is reduced. ”

Johnson has lined up to lead a review of how the civil service works in the future, according to former cabinet office minister Francis Mudd, who oversaw the hanging deficit in civil service numbers under a coalition government led by David Cameron and Osborne.

There are also warnings that a reduction in the number of officers would exacerbate delays in applying for passports, driving licenses and other government services.

Mark Serotka, general secretary of the largest civil servants’ union, Public and Commercial Services Union, said: Tax search

“We will fight for every job in the civil service. Not just from our members, but from every member of the public who relies on the services they provide. “

Professor Anand Menon, director of the think tank UK in a Changing Europe, said Johnson’s problem was that Brexit was a larger state’s demand “not just for short-term implementation, but for the UK to do all the extra work that Brexit would need”. From formulating and implementing new policies in the fields to performing new regulatory tasks, policing our borders. ”


Tourism rebound could generate 3 trillion baht in two years for Thailand

Tourism rebound could generate 3 trillion baht in two years for Thailand

The Ministry of Tourism recently detailed the performance of Thailand’s tourism sector during the epidemic, noting that its subsequent epidemic rebound could generate 3 trillion baht in two years.

The remarks were made as part of the government’s interpretation of the budget debate in parliament, when opponents blamed the proposed 2023 budget for inequality.

Tourism and Sports Minister Fifat Rachakitprakorn said the number of international tourists visiting Thailand before the epidemic was 39.8 million, contributing about 3 trillion baht to 18% of national GDP.

In 2021, Thailand recorded only 430,000 international visitors. This number has risen to 1.31 million from the beginning of this year to May, marking a positive start for 2022.

The tourism target for 2022 has been set at 7-10 million

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports now expects the number of international tourists to be around 2.7-3 million from June to September this year and more than 1 million between October and December 2022. The ministry has set a total international tourism target for this year for a population of 7-10 million and expects the nation to recover 1.15-1.5 trillion baht.

The ministry estimates that tourism revenue will reach 2.4 trillion baht next year and the pre-epidemic by 2024 will be 3 trillion baht.

The tourism minister said health and medical tourism remained a strong selling point, especially after the Prime Minister’s visit to Saudi Arabia, which attracted more medical tourists from the Middle East.

Information and sources

  • Reporter: Nataphone Complexit
  • Rewriter: Paul Rujopakorn
  • National News Bureau: http://thainews.prd.go.th

Improve facilities for HGV drivers or face new taxes, MPs tell freight sector

Improve facilities for HGV drivers or face new taxes, MPs tell freight sector

The road transport industry should be given a two-year deadline to upgrade facilities for lorry drivers, including clean showers, healthy food and space for female drivers, or face new taxes, the ministers said.

On Wednesday, a cross-party group of lawmakers called on the logistics industry to “decorate its house” by improving overnight facilities for drivers and providing new training routes for hiring more truckers from different backgrounds. This comes at a time when the sector is struggling with a shortage of HGV drivers, resulting in regular fuel shortages at petrol pumps and empty shelves in supermarkets.

Last year the Road Holes Association, an industry trade body, estimated that there was a shortage of 100,000 HGV drivers due to the coronavirus crisis and Brexit. The deficit is now estimated at around 65,000 drivers.

The Commons Transportation Selection Committee said that unless changes were made in two years, the most profitable segments of the sector would face new taxes.

Under the proposed supply chain levy, large supermarkets, oil companies and online service giants may be forced to pay new facility costs for HGV drivers.

“We urge the government to be bold and force the sector to decorate its house,” said Huu Merriman, the committee’s conservative chairman. “A supply chain levy has previously worked to encourage reform.

“If industry doesn’t change, then the government should do that and send bills to those who produce and sell and those who make the most profit through increased taxes.”

The committee’s report, Road Freight Supply Chain, found that “one of the main reasons drivers are not in the sector is the lack of quality rest facilities.”

The report calls for the introduction of minimum standards for amenities, including safety, clean showers and toilets, healthy food options and services for female drivers.

Drivers cited in the report expressed concern about “bad washing facilities” in the overnight stop area, including dirty and “vandalized” showers. The report states that some official stay-over services are so bad that drivers prefer to park overnight at the levy – a practice known as “fly-parking” that can lead to fines.

The committee said the industry needs to do more to encourage women and young people to drive HGV.

“Women make up only 1% of the workforce. The under-25 ratio is below 3%, “said Merriman.” For a long time, this lack of diversity has led to more drivers retiring than being hired.

“We have been here before. In 2016, the transport committee called for action in the welding sector but little has changed. Lack of diversity is holding back the expansion of the workforce. ”

The committee also called on road transport companies to pay for the special training required to drive an HGV. Currently costs are covered by drivers.

Merriman added: “The long-term solution lies in more freight shipping by rail and water. This will help the sector decarbonate and make it more attractive to those who want to work shorter distances; We want to see their family at the end of a difficult day.

The Road Holocaust Association, which represents commercial road transport companies and has more than 7,000 members, said it “welcomed the report” extensively and agreed with its own request for changes to many recommendations. It added: “We appreciate the principles behind supply chain tariffs, but we need to make sure that this does not lead to unnecessary cost pressures.

“We are concerned that the industry cannot make the changes necessary to avoid levies in just two years when many of these changes are beyond the control of the industry.”


SET, BOT and OVEC jointly promote financial and entrepreneurial knowledge

SET, BOT and OVEC jointly promote financial and entrepreneurial knowledge

The Office of the Vocational Education Commission (OVEC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Stock Exchange (SET) of Thailand to promote knowledge about capital markets and social and environmental sustainability, and another Memorandum of Understanding with the Bank of Thailand (BOT). ) To promote financial literacy.

Collaborating with shared values ​​aims to create financial immunity for vocational students and staff, and to provide entrepreneurial practical knowledge for students to become quality workers who are ready to enter the job market and ultimately benefit the country’s economic development.

The project is expected to cover a target group of more than one million people.

OVEC Secretary-General Suthep Kayengsanthia said the signing of the MoU was aimed at continuing to expand cooperation in promoting financial literacy through Finn.

Dee we can !!! The Season 4 project is a financial knowledge competition designed to encourage teachers to develop “learning innovations”, and allows students to think and start projects that apply financial knowledge in their daily lives and expand into business development.

SET has also expanded its collaboration with SET for projects to enhance financial and business knowledge for vocational workers to enhance the basic entrepreneurial skills required by creating e-learning media to promote financial knowledge through e-learning. System in Finance and Entrepreneurship Courses.

Vocational students will benefit from this collaboration which will sharpen their financial skills and increase the potential of Thai youth to be a quality and important workforce for further development of the country.

Sorafool ​​Tulaysathien, Senior Executive Vice President of SET, said that SET is committed to the development of capital markets for the benefit of all sectors. One mission that SET has consistently prioritized for more than 20 years is to promote knowledge and skills in financial planning for life security.

“SET is confident that more than 20 e-learning courses include financial,
Investment and Entrepreneurship Course developed by SET for Vocational
Through SET e-learning, both Vocational Certificate and Higher Vocational Certificate will be a learning platform for new generation of students and staff related to business and entrepreneurial subject education, a means of imparting knowledge to students and teachers in a convenient and efficient manner. . This is a measure of partnership to create quality workers for the community, “said Sorafol.

BOT Deputy Governor Vachira Aromadi said that in addition to the Memorandum of Understanding, three institutions: OVEC, SET and BOT would launch “e-learning courses on financial knowledge for vocational students”.

BOT has launched “Finn”. What can we do !!! The Season 4 ”project, which has been working in partnership with OVEC since 2018, invites students to submit their project to demonstrate and promote financial knowledge.

Selected work segments will be awarded certificates and cash along with respectable banners for their organization. The application will be opened in mid-May.

Over the years, SET has continued to collaborate with education
Institutions across the country. Since 2004, more than 500,000 students have gained knowledge about finance and investment and entrepreneurship through various activities and projects, such as entrepreneurial classrooms, especially in the form of capital market content and practical entrepreneurial content for each institution’s curriculum.

SET News: SET, BOT and OVEC jointly promote financial and entrepreneurial knowledge of vocational students and staff.

Cautious consumers are dragging factory output to new heights

Cautious consumers are dragging factory output to new heights

Among the broader signs of the global economic downturn, declining productivity in the UK consumer goods industry pushed manufacturing output to a seven-month low in May.

Growth in Britain’s manufacturing sector slowed last month, according to a closely watched survey driven by disruptions in global supply chains, high inflation and falling new orders. According to S&P and CIPS, which conducted the survey, an index of purchasing managers fell to 54.6 in May from 55.8 in April, in line with economist forecasts, and above the 50-mark, which distinguishes growth from contraction.

Manufacturing companies, which account for just under one-fifth of the UK economy, are facing “headwinds”, said Rob Dobson, director of S&P Global Market Intelligence.

“Factories are reporting higher concerns about the slowdown in domestic demand, declining exports, input and labor shortages, rising spending pressures and a given view of geopolitical uncertainty. The consumer goods sector has been particularly hard hit, as household demand has declined in response to the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, ”Dobson said.

“Foresighted indicators from the survey indicate that further slowdown may occur. “Business optimism is down 17 months and weak demand growth has led to surplus production, which means warehouse stocks are rising.”

New Covid-19 lockdowns in China’s major cities have hit supply chains, and rising production has hurt global manufacturing due to rising energy prices since the war in Ukraine. Less than half of all businesses in the UK have reported that prices of goods, products or services have risen between April and March, according to the Office for National Statistics.

High inflation has forced consumers to shift their spending on services such as tourism or leisure to more expensive products after lifting lockdown restrictions, as reported in the UK and Europe.

According to the PMI survey, activity in the eurozone manufacturing sector fell to an 18-month low in May and registered a fourth consecutive decline in output. The index fell to 55.6 from 54.5 last month and new orders fell for the first time in two years. Germany’s manufacturing powerhouse was a rare exception after Ukraine was hit by the war, with output reaching a two-month high of 54.8.

Inflation in the eurozone hit a record high of 8.1 percent in May, and businesses are passing on their high-cost customers. A measure of factory gate prices is the second highest recorded in the Eurozone PMI in May.

New figures released yesterday show that retail sales in Germany fell by an expected 5.4 percent, leading to the worst fall in food sales since records began between March and April.

“The eurozone economy seems to be growing and uncomfortably dependent on the services sector to sustain growth in the coming months,” said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence.

“The ability to spend has therefore been severely curtailed, and often consumers in particular have shown an interest in shifting costs from products to services with the benefit of loose epidemic travel restrictions.”

He said an undercurrent of uncertainty caused by the war in Ukraine and high inflation was making consumers more risk-averse, “pointing to the deep-rooted negative risks of the outlook”.


Strong ASEAN relations depend on careful cooperation

Strong ASEAN relations depend on careful cooperation

Much has changed since the first meeting between US and ASEAN officials in 1977. But after 45 years of engagement, relations between the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the United States remain unstable. The war in Ukraine has provided a new impetus for the resumption of ASEAN-US relations in a pragmatic way.

Author: Kavi Chongkittavorn, Chulalongkorn University

Their leaders met in Washington for the ASEAN-US Special Summit in May 2022, and there was a sense of joy and panic. Since the Vietnam War, the United States’ position on Southeast Asia has been the subject of constant debate, particularly over US compatibility and reliability.

US presence in ASEAN is required.

A fact has emerged – the US needs a presence in the region, especially in terms of security and the economy. ASEAN leaders welcomed President Joe Biden’s invitation when it was first issued in October 2021.

ASEAN-US relations have been driven by their long-standing mutual security and economic interests. But the emergence of new powers, such as China, Russia and India, has made the high-level dialogue between ASEAN and the United States even more urgent. The confidence of ASEAN leaders in the role of the United States in the region has grown under Biden as he has promised to hold early meetings with his ASEAN counterparts.

… After six years of emptiness

At the Washington summit, Biden named a close ally, Johannes Abraham, as the new US ambassador to the ASEAN Secretariat after a six-year hiatus. ASEAN welcomes the appointment of a senior official who has Biden’s ears.

It is important to note that China has not missed the last two dozen ASEAN-related summits since Beijing became a dialogue partner with ASEAN in 1992. Regular summit meetings have strengthened the ASEAN-China relationship and transformed it into one of the group’s most dynamic dialogue partnerships.

In 2021, China was promoted to the status of a comprehensive partnership. In this context, the United States took the opportunity to develop ASEAN-US relations into a comprehensive strategic partnership at a special summit in Washington in May. Australia also established a comprehensive strategic partnership with ASEAN last year.

With the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, the United States is seeking to increase support for sanctions from ASEAN, which has become problematic due to differences among ASEAN members. The ASEAN-US Joint Vision Statement has proved difficult to establish a general position on the situation in Ukraine as the situation is still evolving.

The joint statement reiterated ASEAN’s call for an “immediate end to hostilities”. But the Biden administration wants an additional guarantee from ASEAN that it will not go against the ongoing sanctions regime as the war in Ukraine continues.

ASEAN also has other priorities in regional issues, including the Myanmar crisis, the South China Sea conflict, the development of cross-border resources in the Korean Peninsula and the Mekong sub-region. Excessive U.S. pressure on ASEAN to lean west could be reciprocated. The lessons learned from India’s response to joint US and European pressure should be effective. No ASEAN member would want to damage their long-standing relations with Russia and China. Singapore may be different – it may be different, but it may stand alone.

By early 2021, the Biden administration realized that in order to receive support and cooperation from ASEAN, it needed to be more realistic and flexible. The newly announced Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), part of the US Indo-Pacific Strategy, is designed to accommodate both the United States and regional interests. Seven of the ten ASEAN members are among the 13 signatories who have expressed a desire to build closer economic cooperation with the United States and its allies. IPEF is still a work in progress and due to various existing perspectives and economic practices it will take time to discuss and debate on IPEF material.

In order to strengthen the new comprehensive strategic partnership, the United States should focus on ways to strengthen economic and security cooperation with ASEAN, which would enhance the centrality of ASEAN. It took almost a decade for the non-military bloc to take a leading role in US regional affairs under the Obama administration. From now on, Washington must demonstrate its willingness to cooperate with the ASEAN-initiated guidelines under its Indo-Pacific strategy.

ASEAN prioritizes four areas of cooperation under the Indo-Pacific ASEAN Outlook – maritime cooperation, connectivity, sustainable development and economic cooperation. The United States must be open when collaborating with ASEAN, as other Indo-Pacific frameworks have already promised to do the same. Any sign of a revival would damage US creditworthiness. Japan has already signed a joint statement with Outlook to coordinate its Indo-Pacific strategy.

This will allay ASEAN’s concerns about the informal grouping known as the Quad, comprising the United States, Australia, Japan and India. Joint cooperation between the United States and ASEAN on the Indo-Pacific Framework will strengthen ASEAN’s centrality and address regional challenges. One area that could be a pilot project is the Quad Vaccine Partnership, which plans to deliver one billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Over time, both sides could expand cooperation in the areas of climate, sustainable infrastructure, maritime issues, education, people-to-people contacts and economic engagement in Covid-19 and global health protection.

The Biden administration was wise not to use the summit to pit ASEAN against China and Russia, otherwise the United States would further undermine ASEAN-US relations and the balance of power in Southeast Asia. To advance the new comprehensive strategic partnership, both sides must now move forward with their bilateral agenda and focus on harnessing their combined strengths within the Indo-Pacific region.

Cavi Chunkitavorn is a senior fellow at the Institute of Security and International Studies, Chulalankorn University, and a veteran journalist for regional affairs at the Bangkok Post.

Read more