Discours lors de la réception à la Résidence de France à l’occasion de la mission de 22 entreprises menée par la Direction Générale de l’Armement - le 15 novembre 2018
Dear Air Chief Marshal Preecha Pradabmook, Director-General of the Defence Technology Institute,
Monsieur l’Ingénieur Général de l’Armement Cyril Crozes,
It is a great pleasure to welcome you all tonight at the French Residence in Thailand, two months only after I took office.
Last Sunday, Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-O-Cha was in France to commemorate, with 80 other world leaders, the hundredth anniversary of the end of WWI. And to pay tribute to the Siamese expeditionary forces that took part to the great war, a strong symbol of the ancient friendship between France and Thaïland. This visit followed his meeting with President Emmanuel Macron last June, that marked the renewal of a targeted collaboration between our countries, thanks in particular to two important agreements.
First the contract for the acquisition of an observation satellite, Theos 2, that will be delivered to the GISTDA by Airbus Defence & Space.
And then the partnership between Airbus and Thai Airways International to set up a Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul centre in U-Tapao Airport.
It is therefore fair to say that the period is particularly opportune to reinforce cooperation between Thailand and France, in particular in the field of defence and security.
What reunites us tonight is indeed this key topic, the defence industry, which was selected by Thailand as the number 11 priority of its economic development to boost the growth of the country.
What it means is that Defence industry is an integral part of the very ambitious initiative of Thailand 4.0 that will foster a value-based economy driven by innovation, technology and creativity.
It also means that the government of Thailand will propose a roadmap to develop a defence industry within the Eastern Economic Corridor, which is the ambitious program of new connected infrastructures in the south east of Bangkok.
France, of course, is interested in these projects and willing to collaborate. The 22 French companies I am glad to welcome tonight work in the sectors of land, maritime, air and space systems and their mission to Thailand could not be a clearer illustration of this interest.
I therefore hope the last two days of intense bilateral exchanges between the public and private actors of the two countries will trigger in the near future a number of new and fruitful cooperation.
This event was made possible thanks to the support of the Defence Technology Institute and all the Thai companies that are represented tonight. Thanks also to the impulse and coordinating role of the Direction Générale de l’Armement, which has a long tradition of cooperation with the Ministry of Defence of Thailand. The Defence Attaché of the embassy and Business France were also heavily involved in the organization of this two days visit. Finally, the delegation had the privilege to be received this morning by General Prawit Wongsuwan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of Thailand and I would like to thank him warmly, as well as the representatives of the Ministry of Defence who are with us tonight.
And now, I wish you all a pleasant evening.