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Thailands Diplomacy:

The Way Forward- A


Personal View

Thailand Foreign Policy


Forward Engagement
To forge cooperative ties with her immediate
neighbours and regional partners.
To increase multi-tiered dialogues and cooperation
At the bilateral, sub-regional, and regional levels to
reinforce the dynamism of Asia as a meaningful
partner.
To expand its relationship with other regions such as
Central Asia, West Asia and the Middle East.

Major Priorities
1.
2.
3.

4.
5.
6.

Attaches great importance to immediate neighbours.


ACMECS
Reinvigorates ASEAN in order to strengthen ASEANs
solidarity and relevancy.
Establishes a vibrant network of an Asia-wide cooperation
under the framework of Asia Cooperation Dialogue or
ACD.
Conducts a proactive economic diplomacy with strategic
partners.
Participates actively in multilateral diplomacy.
Ensures that necessary MFA services, particularly on
consul matters , are rendered in an efficient and effective
manner to the grassroots people.

Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic


Cooperation Strategy or ACMECS
ACMECS was established on 29 April 2003
ACMECS comprises Thailand, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and
Vietnam(joined the group on 10 May 2004)
ACMECS is emphasis :
-Using self-help and partnership to achieve sustainable
development;
-Creating more jobs and narrowing the income gap;
-Building block for the ASEANs 3 pillared communities
(the ASEAN Economic Community, the ASEAN Security
Community, the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community)
France, Germany, Japan and New Zealand as well as the Asian
Development Bank also expressed interest in taking part in this intitive

1.

The main objectives of the ACMECS are:

To increase competitiveness and generate greater growth along the


borders;
To facilitate relocation of agricultural and manufacturing industries to
areas with comparative advantage;
To create employment opportunities and reduce income disparity
among the four countries;
To enhance peace, stability and shared prosperity for all in a
sustainable manner.

2. The ACMECS activities shall be:

Complementary to and enhance the existing bilateral and regional


economic cooperation;
Deliverable with tangible results, utilizing comparative advantage of
each country;
Feasible and be acceptable to the countries concerned;
Undertaken on the basis of voluntary and equitable sharing of
benefits;
Undertaken on the basis of consensus between the partners concerned.

3. The areas of cooperation of the ACMECS include:

Trade and Investment Facilitation:


to capitalize the comparative advantage of the countries concerned;
to facilitate smooth flow of goods and investment for job creation;
to create income generation and reduce socioeconomic disparities.

Agricultural and Industrial Cooperation:


to strengthen and enhance cooperation efforts in agriculture and industry by
establishing and improving infrastructure facilities, joint production,
marketing and purchasing arrangements, research and development and
exchange of information.

Transport linkages:
to develop and utilize transport linkages among the countries concerned;
to facilitate trade, investment, agriculture and industrial production and
tourism.

Tourism Cooperation:
to promote a joint strategy for tourism cooperation among the countries
concerned;
to facilitate tourism among the four countries and from the other regions.

Human Resources Development:


to enhance capacity building of peoples and institutions;
to initiate measures to develop a HRD strategy that is regionally competitive.

Greater Mekong Sub-region Cooperation or


GMS

GMS was established since 1992


Asian Development Bank or ADB is a main
sponsor
SMS comprises comprises Thailand,
Myanmar, Cambodia, Viet Nam, Lao People's
Democratic Republic, and Yunnan Province in
the People's Republic of China.
Total population of GMS is about 250 million.

The main areas of the Greater Mekong Sub


region or GMS are:

Transport
Communication
Energy
Trade
Investment
Agricultural
Environment
Tourism
Human Resources Development

"Flagship" programs in 11 key areas

North-South Economic Corridor


East-West Economic Corridor
Southern Economic Corridor
Telecommunication Backbone
Regional Power Interconnection and Trading
Arrangements
Facilitating Cross-Border Trade and Investment
Enhancing Private Sector Participation and
Competitiveness
Developing Human Resources and Skills
Competencies
Strategic Environmental Framework
Flood Control and Water Resource Management
GMS Tourism Development

Association of Southeast Asian Nations


(ASEAN)
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was
established on August 8, 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, the
Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand
Brunei Darussalam when it joined on January 7, 1984, Vietnam
became the seventh member in 1995, and Laos and Myanmar
joined two years later in July 1997. Cambodia later joined on April
30, 1999. Thus was completed the ASEAN-10the organization of
all countries in Southeast Asia.
Objectives:
To strengthen the economic and social stability of the region;
To ensure peaceful and progressive national development; and
To ensure stability and security from external interference;

The Thrusts of ASEAN Economic Cooperation


The Thrusts of ASEAN Economic Cooperation include the following :

To fully implement the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) ,signed in 1992 ;
To become a free trade area with no tariff and non-tariff barriers among the
member countries
To develop the region into a global base for the manufacture of value
added and technologically sophisticated products geared towards servicing
the region and world markets;
To enhance the industrial efficiency of the region;
To enhance the attractiveness of the region for investment and as a tourist
destination;
To cooperate in enhancing greater infrastructural development which will
contribute towards more efficient business environment; and
To ensure that the rich resources (minerals, energy, forestry and others) of
the region are exploited effectively and efficiently.

Association of Southeast Asian Nations with


China, Japan, and South Korea (ASEAN+3)
The meeting of ASEAN+3 (China, Japan, South Korea)
was first held at the Second Informal ASEAN Summit in
16 December 1997.
To promote greater cooperation between ASEAN and
three Northeast Asian nations with an objective of
becoming a building block for regional cooperation in
East Asia

The Bay of Bengal Initiative for MultilateralSectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation
( BIMST-EC)
BIMST-EC was established on 6 June 1997
Member Countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar,
Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand;
Objectives:
To jointly assessing the challenges and opportunities for
economic co-operation in BIMST-EC region;
To strengthen economic cooperation between Thailand and
countries in South Asia, Look West Policy;
To establish a BIMST-EC Free Trade Area which signed in
BKK on 31 July 2004

Areas of cooperation within BIMSTEC:


Trade and investment led by Bangladesh, divided
into 2 categories as follows:
1.1 Goods and services with the following 8
sub-sectors
1.2 Trade and investment facilitation with 7 subsectors
Transport and Communication led by India
Energy led by Myanmar
Tourism led by India
Agriculture and Fisheries led by Thailand
BIMSTECs Working Mechanism

Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD)

Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD)


The ACD was established on June 2002 by 26 countries
Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India,
Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Laos
PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar,
Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Viet Nam, Mongolia, United
Arab Emirates and Iran, and Bhutan (at the next annual ACDs
meeting in Pakistan)
To be admitted formally objectives:
To serve as the missing linkage bringing together these
groupings to generate partnership and strength from diversity
To enhance capacity-building at the region-wide dimension;
To maintain a top-down characteristic and emphasizing positive
thinking, inclusiveness and comfort level for all participants.
To generate partnership and strength for diversity at the regionwide

Multilateral Level
Pursues Thailands commitment to Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs) incorporated povertys
eradication goal to 5th national Economic and social
development plan.
Continues support UN areas of cooperation
(humanitarian assistance, promotion of human rights,
non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, human security,
combating transnational crimes, Promote Thailands
successful implementation of dual Track policy within
the sufficiency economy Philosophy ).
Promotes (sustainable development).

Free Trade Arrangement


Thailand has concluded framework agreements with the
following countries :
US, Trade and Investment Framework Agreement
Bahrain, Closer Economic Partnership
India, framework agreement for establishing bilateral
FTA
Peru, Closer Economic Partnership
Considering negotiating FTAs with Sri Lanka,
Bangladesh, Mexico, South Africa

Conclusion
There

is an increasing trend of expanding and


deepening regional integration at all levels
This trend should help bring greater
prosperity and promote better understanding
among countries in the region