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March 13, 2009

Asean+3 and +6 to be held in Pattaya, Thailand
Thailand has chosen beach resort town of Pattaya on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand as a venue for two meetings for Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) leaders and their dialogue partner counterparts next month, reported Thai News Agency.

Thailand earlier said that it had planned to host the Asean+3 and Asean+6 at the southern island resort province of Phuket but Minister of Foreign Affairs Kasit Piromya said the dates for the meeting, April 10-12, was the same period as the annual Songkran Water Festival and hotels were filled with holidaymakers.

After twice surveying Phuket and visiting Pattaya once, the Foreign Ministry planning team concluded that the eastern seaboard resort, about 165 km southeast of Bangkok, is a better venue in terms of hotel rooms and meeting venues.

The Pattaya Exhibition and Convention Hall (PEACH), a facility of the Royal Cliff Beach Resort was chosen as venue for both Asean+3 (China, South Korea and Japan) and Asean+6 (China, South Korea, Japan, New Zealand, Australia and India), he said.

Kasit said that prior to the Asean +3 and Asean +6 meetings, there will be an Asean Finance Ministerial Meeting to compile necessary economic information and evaluate the region’s measures to fight the global financial crisis, plans which will then be submitted to the Asean leaders and dialogue partners meetings.

The results from the Group of 20 (G-20) summit in London, which Thailand’s Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is scheduled to attend on behalf of Asean, will be reported on at the meetings in Pattaya, he said.

The Thai foreign minister added that Asean Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan is coordinating with the heads of international organisations such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Trade Organisation (WTO), and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to encourage their participation in the meetings.

Meanwhile, Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva begins a three-day official visit to Britain, starting Friday, at the invitation of the British government, and will also speak on Thai politics at Oxford University on Saturday, according to Panithan Watanayakorn, deputy secretary-general to the prime minister.




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