New Asean economic community preparations

NCPO chief Prayuth Chan-ocha has announced the formation of a command centre to prepare Thailand for the security, economic and social challenges ahead of the launch of the Asean Economic Community at the end of 2015.

Permanent defence secretary Gen Surasak Kanchanarat said on Wednesday that the new command centre would have three ad hoc committees .

The committee on political and security preparations will be headed by himself and Sihasak Phuangketkeow, permanent foreign affairs secretary.

Air force commander-in-chief ACM Prajin Juntong will head the economic preparation committee, and navy commander-in-chief Adm Narong Pipattanasai chairs the social and cultural preparation panel.

The command centre would speed up and integrate the preparation of Thailand in the three areas, Gen Surasak said at a press conference.

The security committee would find ways to maintain national security, promote the unity of Asean member states, keep Asean's balance with world powers, and develop appropriate attitudes and awareness of the Asean Community.

Mr Sihasak said at the press conference that preparations for the Asean Economic Community had been heavily discussed in relation to its economic aspects, but preparations regarding security and social areas were also important. 

In the area of security, the formation of the Asean Community could facilitate transnational crime, migration and transmission of epidemics, because cross-border travel would be easier among Asean member states, he said.

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