BANGKOK (NNT) - Thailand has called on ASEAN Plus Three nations to tighten their collaborations amid the volatile global economic situation. Meanwhile, the bloc is striving for supply chain flexibility and reduced reliance on single manufacturing sources.

Minister of Commerce Jurin Laksanawisit represented Thailand in delivering a remark at the ASEAN Plus Three (APT) leaders meeting on industrial and supply chain cooperation. The meeting was organized in Suzhou city in China’s Jiangsu province. China’s deputy prime minister, Cambodia’s minister of economy and finance and Indonesia’s minister for maritime affairs and investment were also in attendance.

Mr. Jurin said the meeting corresponds to the global issues of COVID-19 and international disputes. These issues have compelled ASEAN Plus Three to seek production supply chain flexibility and reduce reliance on single manufacturing sources. The bloc also seeks to shorten the production chain by reducing steps and complexity. Mr. Jurin proposed that innovations and digital technology be used to create seamless, transparent and efficient links between supply chains. He also called for their uses in human resource development, facilitating trade, and reinforcing regional collaborations.

Trade between ASEAN and its Plus Three partners China, Japan and South Korea in the first 5 months of this year amounted to 563.53 billion USD. The figure is a 14% increase from the same period of the previous year. Direct investment in ASEAN by the Plus Three countries was valued at 32.65 billion USD last year. The figure accounts for a quarter of total foreign direct investment in ASEAN.