|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.
About 70 participants attended the First Planning and Consultation Workshop on the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Energy Sector Strategy held in Bangkok, Thailand on 31 July 2006. The participants included senior government officials and policy makers from the GMS member economies, as well as representatives from academia, civil society, development partners, and the private sector.
This issue of the Journal focuses on the seminal research undertaken by Social Research Institute of Chiang Mai University (SRI-CMU) on the question: How does community-based tourism (CBT) impact on poverty? Five research papers were selected from the SRI-CMU project. The overview article, Tourism: Blessings for All?, by Mingsarn Kaosa-ard, discusses the returns from tourism and how these returns are being shared from a national perspective. The benefits and the potential negative impacts of tourism are weighed.