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Thailand and ADB

ADB's partnership with the Government of Thailand focuses on support for knowledge sharing and innovation, fostering private sector development, and promoting regional cooperation and integration.

ADB's Work in Thailand

ADB Membership

Joined 1966

Shareholding and Voting Power

Number of shares held:
144,522 (1.358% of total shares)

183,636 (1.381% of total membership, 2.120% of total regional membership)

Overall capital subscription:
$2.00 billion

Paid-in capital subscription:
$99.95 million

ADB has been supporting Thailand since 1966 and is presently helping the government, elected in March 2019, to follow through on its inaugural policy statement. This statement reaffirms Thailand’s long-term strategic directions under the country’s 20-year strategy, with the aim of reaching high-income status by 2037.

Under both the country’s 20-year strategic plan and its 5-year development plan, ADB is working to help Thailand achieve its short- and long-term economic growth targets and development objectives. In recent years, this has centered around generating environmentally sustainable growth and encouraging private sector participation in much-needed infrastructure projects.

Since 1966, ADB has committed $7.05 billion for 99 loans, 3 grants, and 179 technical assistance projects for Thailand.

BTS Skytrain at the Asoke Station

Cumulative loan and grant disbursements to Thailand amount to $5.38 billion. These were financed by regular and concessional ordinary capital resources, and other special funds.

ADB-Supported Projects and Programs

With Thailand needing to attract significant private investment in vital infrastructure, ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department has been active in supporting renewable energy projects sponsored by Thai investors. In late 2018 and mid-2019, ADB invested in green and climate bonds issued by leading energy companies for wind and solar power projects to service Thailand with total capacity of around 350 megawatts. ADB’s participation is crucial for compliance with the Green Bond Principles and the certification as climate bonds under the Climate Bonds Standards of the Climate Bonds Initiative.

As part of its commitment to provide knowledge support and policy advice, ADB continually extends technical assistance for public–private partnerships in Thailand. In 2019, ADB provided advisory services for conducting a prefeasibility study to explore the viability of a large-scale offshore wind project in the country. The study includes financial viability, technical standards, and a commercial and ownership model including possible use of public–private structures.

The Theppana Wind Farm, the first wind farm owned by Electricity Generating Public Company Limited (EGCO Group) of Thailand

ADB continues to provide support for infrastructure projects to help improve transport connectivity in Thailand. In 2018, ADB committed and disbursed $99.4 million to upgrade 125 kilometers of roadway on National Highways 22 and 23 in the country’s northeast. ADB is also providing technical assistance to improve the operational performance of Thailand’s national railway systems.

In the finance sector, ADB support focuses on strengthening financial inclusion by improving the efficiency of semiformal and specialized financial institutions in providing inclusive finance for low-income households. ADB is also preparing a technical assistance project on climate change adaptation for sustainable agriculture in highland communities in the north.

To enhance regional cooperation, ADB continues to facilitate Thailand’s involvement in various regional and subregional cooperation and integration programs, including the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), the Indonesia–Malaysia–Thailand Growth Triangle, and the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation. Thailand will continue to have many opportunities to contribute to beneficial subregional initiatives such as the GMS Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability Program and the GMS Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security Program.

Siam Organic Co., Ltd., which introduced Jasberry rice, a non-GMO, organic rice variety in the region, adopted an inclusive business model to help farmers increase harvest yields and earn more

Nonsovereign Operations

As a catalyst for private investments, ADB provides financial assistance to nonsovereign projects and financial intermediaries. Total commitments from ADB’s own funds (in equity and direct loans) in 2019 amounted to $3.00 billion for 38 transactions in economic and social infrastructure, the finance sector, and agribusiness. ADB also actively mobilizes cofinancing from commercial and concessional sources. In 2019, ADB mobilized $3.28 billion of long-term cofinancing and $3.69 billion of cofinancing in trade finance, microfinance, and supply chain finance programs. Total outstanding balances and commitments of nonsovereign transactions funded by ADB’s own resources stood at $13.78 billion as of 31 December 2019.

Projects Cofinanced, 1 January 2014–31 December 2018

Financing Partnerships

Financing partnerships enable ADB’s development partners, governments or their agencies, multilateral financing institutions, and commercial organizations to participate in financing ADB projects. The additional funds are provided in the form of loans and grants, technical assistance, and other nonsovereign cofinancing such as B loans, risk transfer arrangements, parallel loans and equity, guarantee cofinancing, and cofinancing for transactions under ADB’s Trade Finance Program and Supply Chain Finance Program.

ADB began cofinancing operations in Thailand in 1977. Since then, sovereign cofinancing commitments for Thailand have amounted to $435.70 million for six investment projects and $15.38 million for 28 technical assistance projects. Nonsovereign cofinancing for Thailand has amounted to $5.43 billion for 14 investment projects and $0.32 million for two technical assistance projects.

Operational Challenges

As part of its aim to become a developed country, Thailand has attempted to promote inclusive growth and create long-term investment to boost its international competitiveness. However, economic growth in the country has recently been impeded by global economic shocks, natural disasters, sociopolitical tensions, and relatively low investment. Other challenges to growth include persistent inequality, a weak education system, environmental degradation, and an aging population.

ADB is working with Thailand to help formulate and implement the structural reforms needed to address the country’s key development challenges. ADB will continue to deliver timely knowledge support accompanied by suitable financing products and the leveraging of private sector investment and financing.

The ASEAN Infrastructure Fund is a financing vehicle created to support green and inclusive infrastructure in Southeast Asia

Future Directions

ADB’s country operations business plan, 2020–2022 for Thailand aims to provide support for projects in the transport and energy sectors, especially those with the potential for sovereign financing and/or private sector participation. ADB will also help develop a green finance and innovation facility for investment projects in the country.

A new country partnership strategy, 2020–2024 for Thailand is under preparation and will continue to focus on select initiatives—predominantly policy advice, capacity building, and other knowledge support—in transport development, finance sector improvement, climate change mitigation, renewable energy expansion, and regional cooperation.

In addition to such initiatives, ADB’s public sector operations will support technical assistance projects to enhance project preparation and implementation, build capacity, and extend knowledge work in Thailand. These will be delivered through large regional technical assistance projects or regional transaction technical assistance facilities.

This article was originally published in the ADB and Thailand: Fact Sheet. Updated yearly, this ADB Fact Sheet provides concise information on ADB's operations in the country and contact information.

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