International Cooperation and Development

Thailand

Thailand has been one of the most successful countries in the South-East Asia region in terms of social and economic development, having moved from a low-income economy to an upper-middle income economy in less than a generation.

Extreme poverty has been eradicated, but disparities remain. Thailand now wants to reach high-income status by 2036, which will require structural reforms, an improvement in education and skills training in all regions, promotion of innovation, a reduction of cross-border barriers, and an increase in public spending on infrastructure.

Our priorities

As the country has had great improvements in its standards of living, the EU-Thailand relationship has evolved into an equal and mutually-beneficial partnership. Today’s cooperation strategy centres around the provision of technical assistance to help the country achieve itsSustainable Development Goals.

The cooperation between Thailand and the EU includes projects covering topics such as governance, environment, health, higher education, and technology and economic development.

Our impact

  • 500 scholarships granted through the Erasmus Mundus programme, many to complete Masters Degrees in European universities

  • some 5,000 youth engaged in youth-led initiatives through a civil society project in the deep south of Thailand, to promote sustainable local communities and child protectionsome 3,000 asylum seekers were supported during their administrative processing in Thailand

  • around 100,000 encamped Myanmar people have access to improved drinking water, sanitation, basic education, and Vocational Training as a result of EU support to the 9 temporary shelters on the Thai-Myanmar border.

  • more than 50,000 migrants, men and women, have benefited from improved working and living conditions as a result of the EU support programme to the fishing and seafood industry and dedicated efforts toward women migrant workers

  • some 500 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) have been assisted to green their businesses and to apply sustainable consumption and production practices

Our programmes

EU cooperation in Thailand is supported by regional programmes (ASEAN) in different fields ranging from Information networks to protecting the wildlife of the Mekong region. 

Thailand specific initiatives also support the countries' development: 

  • The European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights covers projects in support of human right defenders, migrant workers and the fight against human trafficking. 

  • Aid to Uprooted People supports refugees from Myanmar and host communities on the Thailand-Myanmar border in the areas of education, health, water, sanitation, livelihood and social protection. 

  • Civil Society Organisations Programme - 19 projects to support Climate Change Adaptation; management of toxic waste; forest and land and marine governance; empowering women; actions against violence of women and girls; sustainable livelihood for small scale fishermen; economic and social rights of indigenous people; CSOs' and youth's participation in conflict's transformation.

  • The Trade Related Technical Assistance Programme, which is expected to be launched in 2020 with a budget of €3 million, aims to support inclusive and sustainable trade growth in Thailand while contributing to economic integration in the ASEAN region.

  • Consumers and Retailers Driving Sustainable Food Market in Thailand - To increase consumers' demand on food produced with environmental and social standard systems.

  • Combatting Unacceptable Forms of Work in the Thai Fishing and Seafood Industry - Fight against forced labour, child labour and exploitation of workers, especially migrants workers.