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Thailand and ADB

ADB’s country partnership strategy 2021–2025 for Thailand will seek to develop and implement coordinated sovereign and nonsovereign lending and nonlending products that help strengthen the country’s competitiveness, connectivity, resilience, and sustainability.

ADB's Work in Thailand

ADB Membership

Joined 1966

Shareholding and Voting Power

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

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

Overall capital subscription:
$2.08 billion

Paid-in capital subscription:
$104.1 million

Thailand’s economic progress has centered largely around international trade and tourism. As such, the country’s economy has been severely impacted by restrictions to movement brought on by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Thailand’s efforts to manage the pandemic and its impacts have been highly commendable. The Government of Thailand has launched several stimulus packages in a phased manner to cushion the effects of the pandemic on the country’s prosperity and its people.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) stands ready to extend the necessary support and collaboration with Thailand in responding to health, social and economic impacts due to the COVID-19. In June 2020, ADB approved a $1.5 billion loan to Thailand under the Countercyclical Support Facility COVID-19 Pandemic Response Option (CPRO) for the COVID-19 Active Response and Expenditure Support Program.

Since 1996, ADB has committed $9.136 billion for 107 loans, 1 equity investment, 3 grants, and 180 technical assistance projects for Thailand.

BTS Skytrain at the Asoke Station

Cumulative loan and grant disbursements to Thailand amount to $5.61 billion. These were financed by regular and concessional ordinary capital resources and other special funds.


ADB-Supported Projects and Programs

In response to the request made by the government, ADB’s CPRO loan $1.5 billion aims to assist Thailand in mitigating the negative economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, finances the government’s income loss compensation program for the poor and vulnerable farmers, and also improves the public health system response to the COVID-19.

Under the One ADB approach, ADB has been active in mainstreaming green finance, including to support the Ministry of Finance and StateOwned Enterprises in issuing its maiden thematic bonds. ADB has used its private sector expertise to participate in debt investment to support the development of green bond market in the country. It has also assisted in promoting the supply of, and demand for, green local currency corporate bonds in Thailand.

As part of its commitment to provide knowledge support and policy advice, ADB extends technical assistance for priority sectors in Thailand. In 2020, ADB approved $2 million in technical assistance financed by the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction to enhance the competitiveness of highland agriculture. The support aims to improve the ability of highland communities to adapt to climate change, and protect ecosystems in the Northern provinces of Thailand.

ADB continues to provide support for infrastructure projects to help improve transport connectivity in Thailand. The Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) highway project, partially financed with an ADB loan of $99.4 million, is upgrading 125 kilometers of roadways in the country’s northeast and improving road safety management. In 2020, ADB completed its technical assistance to improve the operational performance of Thailand’s national railway systems, with further support for railways being developed.

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

In finance, ADB focuses on strengthening financial inclusion by improving the efficiency of semiformal and specialized financial institutions in providing inclusive finance for low-income households. ADB also extended support to enhance tax literacy in the new digital tax and policy environment.

To enhance regional cooperation, ADB continues to support Thailand’s involvement in various regional and subregional cooperation and integration programs, including the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the GMS Economic Cooperation Program, the Indonesia–Malaysia–Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT), and the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation. Thailand will continue to contribute to, and benefit from, 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 in loans and equity investments from ADB’s own funds in 2020 amounted to $1.4 billion for 38 transactions in economic and social infrastructure, finance sector, and agribusiness. ADB also actively mobilizes cofinancing from commercial and concessional sources. In 2020, ADB mobilized $1.9 billion of long-term project cofinancing and $3.3 billion of cofinancing through its Trade and Supply Chain Finance Program and Microfinance Program. Total outstanding balances and commitments of nonsovereign transactions funded by ADB’s own resources stood at $14.3 billion as of 31 December 2020.

In 2020, commitments from ADB’s own funds amounted to $57.7 million for two renewable energy projects in Thailand. Total outstanding balances and commitments of ADB’s nonsovereign transactions in the country as of 31 December 2020 was $1.5 billion, representing 10% of ADB’s total nonsovereign portfolio.

Financing Partnerships

Financing partnerships enable ADB’s financing 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 and Supply Chain Finance Program and Microfinance Program.

ADB began cofinancing operations in Thailand in 1977. Since then, sovereign cofinancing commitments for Thailand have amounted to $435.7 million for six investment projects and $17.38 million for 29 technical assistance projects. Nonsovereign cofinancing for Thailand has amounted to $5.48 billion for 17 investment projects and $0.32 million for two technical assistance projects.

A summary of projects with cofinancing from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2020 is available at Thailand: Cofinancing.

Operational Challenges

As part of its aim to become a developed country, Thailand has been fostering inclusive and sustainable growth, and promoting innovation to boost its international competitiveness. However, economic growth in the country has been impeded by the COVID-19 pandemic, global economic shocks, 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 key development challenges. The bank will continue to deliver timely knowledge support accompanied by suitable financing products and the leveraging of private sector investment and financing for Thailand.

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

Future Directions

The country partnership strategy, 2021–2025 for Thailand will seek to develop and implement coordinated sovereign and nonsovereign lending and nonlending products that help strengthen the country’s competitiveness, connectivity, resilience, and sustainability. Broadly, the priorities include addressing remaining pockets of inequality, importing world-class knowledge on technical and social issues, expanding Thailand’s engagement in regional growth, and resolving constraints to private sector expansion. ADB aims to support projects in transport and energy sectors, especially those with potential for sovereign financing and private sector participation. ADB will also help develop a green finance and innovation facility for investment projects in the country.

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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