|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.
The Government of Cambodia’s Council of Ministers approved two 500 kilovolt (kV) transmission line investment projects in (i) Phnom Penh to the Cambodia-Lao PDR border, and (ii) Battambang to the Cambodia-Thailand border, to prepare to import electricity from its neighbors. The Government of Cambodia is working on increasing the country’s electricity capacity to improve production and competitiveness.
The joint venture V1-2 wind power plant between the Truong Thanh Viet Nam Group and the Sermsang Power Corporation Public Company Limited of Thailand launched construction in Tra Vinh, Viet Nam, on 14 August. The 48 MW peak facility consists of 12 wind turbines to be built on 1,220 hectares in the Truong Long Hoa commune, Duyen Hai town. The project is estimated to cost around $96 million (2.23 trillion VND), and is expected to generate around 163 million kWh of electricity each year.
The Mekong River Commission Joint Committee called on Lao PDR to address comments and recommendations from Cambodia, Thailand, and Viet Nam for the 1,460-megawatt Luang Prabang hydropower project.
As the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) increases its electricity exports, the country is prioritizing safety improvement of its dams. A committee comprising local and foreign experts will conduct dam safety inspections, according to news by the Laotian Times. The Government is also implementing new safety measures and standards.
A $37.8 million loan deal between the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and TTC Energy Development Investment Joint Stock Company (TTC Energy) will provide TTC Energy with long-term financing to develop and operate a 50-megawatt (MW) photovoltaic solar power plant. The solar power plant and its associated facilities will be built in Tay Ninh Province in Viet Nam, and serve the electricity demand of residents and businesses of Ho Chi Minh City and its surrounding areas. This will help reduce 29,760 tons of carbon dioxide emissions by 2020.
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.
The Nam Ngiep 1 Hydropower Project in Bolikhamxay, Lao Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), started generating electricity for export to Thailand in early September 2019, becoming the latest fully operational Independent Power Producer in the country.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have identified 19 priority infrastructure projects to enhance regional connectivity and mobilize investments. Fifteen of the projects are in the Greater Mekong Subregion.
This is the summary of proceedings from the 25th Meeting of the Regional Power Trade Coordination Committee (RPTCC-25) on 20 to 22 March 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand.