Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand visited ASEF on 22 August, 2014. In an interview prior to her official visit to ASEF, she shared with us insights from her career in social development, as well as her views on how to improve the cooperation between Asia and Europe.
What more could ASEF do to help foster closer Asia-Europe ties?
Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn expressed strong support to the continuous exchange between Asia and Europe. “Appreciating each other through culture will make our ties firmer and more stable,” she said. Her Royal Highness referred to her experience in leading Thai music and dance delegations to perform in the United Kingdom, France and Germany, as well as sending students, teachers and scientists to take part in meetings all over Europe. She has translated European and Asian books and highlighted that “ASEF should find more ways to encourage Asian students to learn European languages and vice versa.”
What do you consider as one of ASEF’s biggest achievements till date?
Since her last visit to ASEF in 2004, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn highlighted that much has changed, especially in the way we communicate due to online technology. She also said that this has made it possible to build tighter cross-border relations, focusing more on cooperation, rather than competition. She stressed that “ASEF’s biggest achievement is that it has managed to promote cooperation between EU and ASEAN members.” She added, “I wish to learn more about the role of ASEM and ASEF in every area, so that I can teach my students about it”.