|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 Stock Exchange of Thailand plans to launch a pan-Mekong board and index to tap growing investor interest in developing Mekong economies. The plan, however, is still in its early stages and has not yet reached the Securities and Exchange Commission.
BANGKOK, THAILAND (23 February 2018) — The Asian Development Bank signed a loan equivalent of up to $235 million with B.Grimm Power Public Company Limited, one of the largest power producers in Thailand, to develop and enhance renewable energy capacity in member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Government and development partners talk about the importance of environmental cooperation in the Greater Mekong Subregion and the GMS Core Environment Program.
The German government is supporting two projects between Cambodia and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), and between Cambodia and Thailand to better manage resources in the Mekong River basin and address flood and drought issues.
CHIANG MAI, THAILAND (1 February 2018) — Environment ministers from the six countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion endorsed a 5-year environment agenda that includes more than $540 million worth of priority projects to spur green investments and increase environmental cooperation to help the subregion achieve sustainable growth.
BANGKOK, THAILAND (25 January 2018) — The Asian Development Bank’s Trade Finance Program called for greater financial integration, including the development of trade finance, among Greater Mekong Subregion countries at a recent conference for trade finance professionals, central banks, and government ministries in Bangkok.
MANILA, PHILIPPINES (8 January 2018) — The Asian Development Bank today launched a photo contest on Instagram to showcase the development progress in the Greater Mekong Subregion and demonstrate how a focus on increased regional cooperation and integration can improve people’s lives.
An additional $2 million grant funding from the Climate Investment Fund–Technical Assistance Facility (CIF–TAF) was approved on 17 October 2021 by ADB. This grant will support green and resilient COVID-19 recovery in the GMS, covering Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, and Viet Nam, through the CCESP TA. With this funding, the Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability Program (CCESP) will provide policy support, build institutional and technical capacities, and demonstrate innovative options to build back cleaner, greener, and more climate-resilient economies.