Thailand will host the third Asia-Middle East Dialogue (AMED) in the
next two years as part of efforts to turn the Kingdom into a regional
hub for halal food.
Ministers and senior officials from
50 countries and regional organisations from Asia and the Middle East
ended two days of dialogue in Egypt’s resort beach of Sharm El Sheikh
yesterday with a joint declaration to cooperate in political security,
economics and social-culture matters.
AMED has already established a sub-working group on halal food to set standards for products and production.
food is produced and certificated in accordance with Islamic principles
for Muslims. Thailand aims to be a regional hub for halal food
production and is bidding to create jobs for economic development in
the restive South where the vast majority of the population is Muslim.
The Thai government and private sector plan to develop a halal industrial estate in Pattani.
Thailand also proposed the two regions would explore possibilities to use food crops to produce alternative energy.
is now linked with energy security and sustainable development, a nexus
we should explore further,” said Foreign Ministry deputy permanent
secretary Chariyavat Santaputra, who led the Thai delegation.
in its joint declaration, stressed the importance of undertaking
concrete actions in various areas including logistics, infrastructure,
small and medium enterprises, development, energy and food security.
AMED participants also affirmed the importance of energy in their
relations and will enhance cooperation as world oil prices keep
Petroleum companies from Asia are looking to
invest in oil and gas in the Middle East to secure their energy
resources. Asia has a number of projects in the energy sector such as
the US$10-billion (Bt310 billion) Rabigh Petrochemical Plant – a joint
venture between Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical. Thailand’s PTT
Exploration and Production (PTTEP) has investments in oil and gas in
Egypt, Oman, Bahrain, Iran and Algeria, Chariyavat said.