Thailand 'more than ready for AEC': PM

Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha reversed his previous statement saying he had no interest in the signature-gathering campaign to seek a referendum on whether reforms should be completed before the next election.

Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday denied reports that the political and security situations in Thailand were a drag on the Kingdom's moves to join the ASEAN Economic Community.

In fact, Prayut said, each and every neighbouring country had confidence in Thailand, and the Kingdom was better prepared than other members of the grouping for the AEC.

"Other countries do not consider Thailand as lagging behind. They are pleased with all the progress that has been achieved and I believe Thailand is ready to enter the AEC. We are more ready than others," he said.

He added that he had received positive feedback from other countries' leaders in his visits overseas, on issues such as security. He said this was in contrast to some Thais being overly critical of his administration.

He said a lot of progress had been made in the country's preparation for the AEC, as he pointed to both long- and short-term strategies his government had come up with from now until 2025.