Thailand  

Quick Facts

Population 69 million (2017)
GDP at PPP (current international dollars) 1.2 trillion (2017)
GDP per capita at PPP (current international dollars) 17,871 (2017)

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With well-developed agro-industries and a highly competitive agriculture export program, Thailand has been a powerful promoter of subregional agricultural trade. Thailand has developed world renowned agriculture products, including Jasmine rice, and has established the capacity to use agriculture to decrease rural poverty and drive economic growth. The country is working to increase private sector participation in agriculture, and is cooperating with GMS partners in defending against cross-border disease, and building climate resilience.

Thailand is working with its GMS partners to mitigate global warming and lower carbon emissions throughout the subregion. This includes sharing information and working together on developing renewable energy, clean fuels, energy efficiency and conservation. Thailand has a policy of working with its GMS partners to develop local energy sources, such as biomass, solar, and wind energy that reduce the dependence on fossil fuels.

With abundant water, forest, fish, and wildlife resources, Thailand is improving water security, decreasing forest cover loss, and managing solid and hazardous waste within its borders and throughout the subregion. Thailand has decentralized management of the environment to local communities, and has partnered with the private sector to enhance and protect the environment. Thailand is home to the GMS Environmental Operations Center, which coordinates environmental initiatives for the subregion.

Thailand works with its GMS partners to maintain a wide range of human resource development activities. These include skills development and the mutual recognition of vocation skills. The country is also combating human trafficking, and has worked to decrease the cross-border transmission of disease.

As an active partner in subregional telecommunications programs, Thailand is developing cross-border connections under the GMS Information Superhighway Network. Thailand is also working with its GMS partners to develop information and communication technology for rural applications.

Thailand is one of the world’s top tourist destinations, and is seen as a gateway for promoting GMS as a single destination for global travelers. The country’s top destinations include Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and seaside resorts in Pattaya and Phuket. The government is working to encourage sustainable tourism that highlights cultural identity, and promotes the conservation of nature and the environment.

As an active member of the GMS Business Forum, Thailand is promoting private sector investment in the subregion, and is encouraging Thai companies to trade with neighboring countries. Thailand is working with its GMS partners to improve trade by easing the flow of goods and services across borders. It is coordinating with subregional partners on customs procedures; inspection and quarantine measures, and trade logistics.

Thailand’s well-developed transport system is an important part of the GMS economic corridors, which focus investment and development on vital highway systems. Thailand has been a driver of economic growth on the North-South Economic Corridor (Kunming-Bangkok Road); the East-West Economic Corridor; and the Southern Economic Corridor. Thailand has worked with its GMS partners to upgrade portions of these important economic corridors and encourage cross border investments aligned with subregional highways.

ADB and Thailand: Fact Sheet

Motorcycle tires being manufactured inside the Camel Rubber Vietnam Co. Ltd factory at the Lao Bao Commercial Area in Huong Hoa District, Quang Tri, Viet Nam. The tires produced by the company are sold locally and are also exported to Lao PDR, Cambodia, Thailand, European and South American countries, as well as to other countries in the ASEAN region. Photo by the Asian Development Bank.

ADB Promotes Trade and Cross-border Investment between SMEs in the GMS and India

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a $3,000,000 technical assistance to support the implementation of initiatives to accelerate trade and cross-border investment between small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) of Cambodia, Thailand, Viet Nam—member countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) program—and India. This ADB-administered technical assistance is financed by the United Kingdom Fund for Asia Regional Trade and Connectivity under the Regional Cooperation and Integration Financing Partnership Facility.

Projects

Myawaddy-Mae Sot border crossing. Photo: Go-Myanmar via Wikimedia, shared under CC BY-SA 3.0

Myanmar, Thailand Sign MoU to Boost Cross-border Trade

The Governments of Thailand and Myanmar signed a Memorandum of Understanding to improve immigration checkpoint and logistics clearances for cross-border trade in the Mae Sot (Thailand) and Myawaddy (Myanmar) checkpoint. The signing took place at the 23rd Ministerial Conference of the Greater Mekong Subregion Economic Cooperation Program.

GMS in the News

Second Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge linking Mae Sot, Thailand with Myawaddy, Myanmar. Photo: Lerdsuwa via Wikimedia, shared under CC BY-SA 3.0

Second Thailand-Myanmar Friendship Bridge to Stimulate Cross-border Trade

The Governments of Thailand and Myanmar officially opened the second Thailand-Myanmar Friendship Bridge to traffic on 30 October 2019 in Tak province, Mae Sot district, Thailand. The bridge crosses over the Moei river, and connects the Mae Sot District of Thailand with Myawaddy in Myanmar.   

GMS in the News

Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, and Thailand Confirm Phase Two of Trilateral Power Deal

The Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR), Malaysia, and Thailand confirmed the second phase of the Lao PDR, Thailand, and Malaysia Power Integration Project (LTM-PIP) at the 37th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) held on 4 September 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand.

Lao PDR sells electricity to Malaysia using Thailand’s electricity transmission network through the LTM-PIP. The second phase expands Lao PDR’s electricity export from 100 megawatts to a maximum of 300 MW.

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