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Hong Kong welcomes Thaksin

May 10, 2001

PRIME Minister Thaksin Shinawatra yesterday received a warm welcome from Thai and Hong Kong businessmen keen to personally meet the Thai leader.

The Hong Kong visit is Thaksin's first outside Southeast Asia since taking office.

The Prime Minister is here for three days, principally to participate in the Fortune Global Forum, a meeting of world financial heavyweights.

Introducing Thaksin to Hong Kong businessmen at a luncheon meeting, Bangkok Bank president Chartsiri Sophonpanich praised the prime minister for adopting "a new way of thinking and a new way of doing things" in Thailand.

The meeting was jointly organised by the CP Group and Bangkok Bank. CP Group chairman and chief executive Dhanin Chearavanont and Bangkok Bank president Chatri Sophonpanich were present, as well as Bangkok Bank's executive chairman Kosit Pampiemraj and former finance minister Amnuay Viravan.

Chartsiri said Thaksin's new approach had captured the Thai people's imagination, leading him to an unprecedented victory at the polling booth. He described Thaksin as representing a new generation of political leaders, who act fast and decisively. He said this was made evident by the government's workshops to deal with the national asset management corporation, the village fund, the health-care programme, the anti-corruption campaign and the drug suppression programme.

Despite the volatile external factors facing Thailand, Chartsiri said Thaksin's chief executive style of management would help Thailand overcome its economic problems - his workshops followed by prompt execution of strategies developed during those workshops would ensure this.

Thaksin, who met Chinese President Jiang Zemin in the morning, also gave a brief speech, outlining the importance of Hong Kong to Thailand. in terms of trade, tourism and labour relationships. From the Thai perspective, Hong Kong is also considered a gateway to greater China.

Thanong Khanthong






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