POPULATION: 68.1 million (2016)
FORUM DIALOGUE MEMBERSHIP ESTABLISHED: 2004
ADDITIONAL FORUM DIALOGUE MECHANISMS: Annual Thailand – Pacific Islands Countries Forum (TPIF) (est. 2014)
POLITICAL SYSTEM: Constitutional Monarch
HEAD OF STATE: King Maha Vajiralongkorn
HEAD OF GOVERNMENT: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha (Military Junta)
DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS IN THE PACIFIC: Canberra and Wellington (2)
SIGNIFICANT MULTILATERAL RELATIONSHIPS: Member of ADB, APEC, ASEAN, G77, IMF, WB, WCPFC (cooperating non-member), WTO
Common areas of strategic interest
Trade in fisheries is Thailand’s predominant interest in the Pacific. Although Thailand does not have a tuna fishing industry and is dependent on purchasing fish from other fleets, it is the world’s largest producer of canned tuna. Thai companies are both investors in tuna processing in the region, and the main competitor for local tuna canneries. In April 2015, Thailand was issued with a ‘yellow card’ by the EU as a country which may not be cooperating in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, including reporting on origin of fish processed in its canneries.
Trade in the region
From 2014 – 2016, there was a decrease in export levels averaged at approximately 7.1%. Fisheries being the key imports from the Pacific, there was an average increase of 57% in fisheries imports from the Pacific between 2014 and 2016. Key imports from Thailand include: cars, sugar and processed fishery products.
Thailand is a founding member of UN and has served on the Trusteeship Council, the ECOSOC and numerous specialized agencies of the UN. It is host to many regional offices of UN agencies, as well as the Economic and Social Commission of the Asia-Pacific (ESCAP).
A new actor in international cooperation and development through the Thailand International Cooperation Development Agency (TICA). Provides south-south cooperation in the form of technical cooperation; and training scholarships across several sectors (health, technology, sustainable agriculture public administration;).
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