MOZAMBIQUE - Diplomacy
Former Prime Minister, Thailand
Yingluck Shinawatra is Thailand’s first female Prime Minister and the youngest sister of former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Public Administration from Chiang Mai University and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Kentucky State University. In May 2011, Yingluck stepped away from her private sector career to register as Puea Thai’s number one party-list candidate for the July 3 election, putting her first in line for the premiership. Puea Thai’s landslide victory gave it 265 of 500 seats. A month later, on August 5, the lower House of Parliament officially voted Yingluck into office as Thailand’s 28th and first female Prime Minister.
It was an honor to be the first Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand to visit Mozambique earlier in 2013. By selecting Mozambique as the first destination of our official visit to Africa, we reaffirmed the belief shared by many around the world that Mozambique is Africa’s latest growth frontier.
The World Bank forecasts roughly 7% growth for 2013, making Mozambique one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Mozambique is also in the top five African countries receiving FDI, including around $5 billion in 2012 according to UNCTAD. Multinational corporations have also invested in a wide range of sectors.
All of this has been achieved, despite flooding in 2013. This is something that Thailand fully understands because we faced similar challenges in 2011. We managed to recover very quickly, registering economic growth of around 6.4% 2013. To prevent future floods, $12 billion is being invested in water management across Thailand. Therefore, we are confident that our growth, forecast at around 5% in 2014, will continue. We would be pleased to share our experience in water management and flood prevention methods.
These achievements were possible because of the effective policies of President Guebuza, the continuing stability in the country, as well as the active role played by the private sector. The Mozambican government policy of investing in infrastructure will also lead to further growth and employment. Important projects include the development of North-South and East-West corridors. Thai companies are also ready to invest in projects such as the Macuzi port and railway. We support this policy, and in our region alone are investing $66 billion in infrastructure development. This includes high-speed trains from Thailand to China. Another important project is the land bridge linking the Dawei seaport in Myanmar on the Indian Ocean with Laem Chabang port in Thailand. This will help enhance regional connectivity that will benefit Mozambique and Africa as a whole as it opens up a direct route from Southeast Asia to Africa. It is expected that the transportation of goods from Macuzi to Dawei will take just eight days. We aim to work more closely together on this matter as we see Mozambique’s great potential to become a trade hub and a gateway to eastern and southern Africa. It is only natural that Mozambique and Thailand should enhance their business partnership to support further growth and prosperity for both our countries. During my visit to Mozambique, President Guebuza and I agreed to double our trade within five years and expand investment. I firmly believe that we can achieve this with the contribution of the Mozambican private sector, and to this end we have signed a number of key agreements. However, the key role will have to be played by the private sector. And here, I believe that the Thai private sector makes a great partner for Mozambique. The interests of the Thai private sector cut across many sectors, from gemstones and jewelry, to hotels and tourism, food processing, construction, and automobile assembly industries. Partnerships with Thai companies do not merely offer high-quality products, services, and skills, but also promote the diversification of Mozambique’s economy, fostering sustainable growth.
I am pleased to announce that Mozambique will be the first country in Africa with which Thailand will pursue this project. It is my hope that it will not only support Mozambique’s continuing development and success, but also enhance better understanding between our peoples.
MOZAMBIQUE - Health & Education
Minister of Education and Human Development,
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