Thailand and ADB

ADB’s new country partnership strategy for Thailand, 2021–2025, provides value-added knowledge and finance solutions through one coordinated channel of engagement.

ADB's Work in Thailand

The downgrading of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from a pandemic to an endemic disease since October 2022 has helped Thailand return to normalcy. Stronger domestic demand and a significant increase in international tourist arrivals have contributed to higher growth in 2022. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) forecasted Thailand’s gross domestic product to grow 3.2% in 2022 and 4% in 2023.

ADB stands ready to support and collaborate with Thailand to ensure recovery from the health, social, and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To date, ADB has committed 240 public sector loans, grants, and technical assistance totaling $7.4 billion to Thailand. Cumulative loan and grant disbursements to Thailand amount to $7.48 billion. These were financed by regular and concessional ordinary capital resources, and other special funds. ADB’s ongoing sovereign portfolio in Thailand includes 1 loan worth $90.8 million.

Two ADB loans were completed in 2022. A $1.5-billion loan assisted Thailand in mitigating the pandemic’s negative economic impact. Second, ADB partially financed the Greater Mekong Subregion highway project with $90.8 million, which helped upgrade 125 kilometers of national highways in the northeast and improve road safety management capacity.

ADB is currently processing two sovereign lending projects for Thailand involving medical excellence centers and climate-resilient connectivity, and aligned with the strategic directions of the country partnership strategy (CPS), 2021–2025. These projects aim to strengthen the country’s competitiveness and enhance connectivity, and to support the well-being of all Thais in an effective, equitable, and sustainable manner after COVID-19.

ADB supported Thailand’s access to private green sources of capital by scaling up the issuance of thematic bonds or Green-Social-Sustainable-Blue bonds. Pilot work has already demonstrated success in the issuance of sustainability and social bonds. For instance, Thailand issued its first social bond by a state-owned bank—the Government Savings Bank—in June 2022, supported by an ADB team. Similarly, the achievement of the first issuance of a green bond in the real estate and retail industries in Thailand (Central Pattana) emphasized the close One ADB collaboration in providing technical support. Work is also underway to develop city bond issuances in the region, with initial meetings held with the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority. A “One ADB Green-Blue Initiative” to support upstream green project preparation focused on subsovereign entities with work commencing on a few potential projects.

ADB’s sovereign lending pipelines for Thailand for 2023–2025 consists of five projects in transport and health sectors, and one green finance and innovation facility, with a total amount of $1.51 billion. As a climate bank, ADB will design planned projects to add value in terms of supporting Thailand’s climate change objectives.

Nonsovereign operations. Total outstanding balances and undisbursed commitments of ADB’s nonsovereign transactions in Thailand as of 31 December 2022 was $1.15 billion representing 9.01% of ADB’s total private sector portfolio.

Operational challenges. Thailand’s 13th National Economic and Social Development Plan, approved in 2022, aims to help the country have an advanced society and sustainable economy. The country has been promoting inclusive and sustainable growth and creating long-term innovative investments to boost its international competitiveness. However, Thailand’s economic growth has been impeded by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, 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 value-added and timely knowledge support accompanied by suitable financing products and the leveraging of private sector investment and financing.

Photo: Asian Development Bank
The Chaiyaphum Wind Farm located in Subyai district, Chaiyaphum province, started commercial operations on December 16, 2016. The wind power plant has a total contracted capacity of 80 MW, comprising 32-unit wind turbines at 2.5 MW each. The project is expected to contribute to Thailand's energy security using clean energy sources. Photo: Patarapol Tularak/ADB
 

Knowledge Work

ADB’s knowledge sharing and engagement with Thailand under nonlending products are a major value addition. ADB continued to focus its technical assistance on providing highly selective technical expertise and sharing knowledge solutions.

ADB continues to provide knowledge support to Thailand’s public and private sector entities in green, social, and sustainability finance mobilization; urban public transport network integration and common fare development; climate-resilient agriculture; and domestic resource mobilization. ADB’s recent technical support, approved at the end of 2022, aims to strengthen the country’s capacity in executing its bio-circular-green (BCG) model through policy dialogue, capacity building, and investment planning. In line with the BCG work, ADB also started developing a possible biodiversity and climate disaster preparedness initiative with potential development partners.

Shareholding and Voting Power

Number of Shares Held
144,522 (1.36% of total shares)

Votes
183,636 (1.38% of total membership, 2.12% of total regional membership)

*Overall capital subscription
$1.92 billion

*Paid-in capital subscription
$96.19 million

* United States dollar figures are valued at rate as of 31 December 2022.


ADB Governor: Arkhom Termpittayapaisith
ADB Alternate Governor: Krisada Chinavicharana
ADB Director: Wan Farisan bin Wan Sulaiman (Malaysia)
ADB Alternate Director: San Thida (Myanmar)
ADB Director’s Advisors: Chaiyasith Boonyanate (Thailand) and Bhim Kanta Neupane (Nepal)

 

Financing Partnerships

Financing partnerships enable ADB’s financing partner governments or their agencies, multilateral financing institutions, and private organizations to participate in financing ADB projects. The additional funds provided may be in the form of loans and grants, technical assistance, and nonsovereign cofinancing.

Cumulative cofinancing commitments in Thailand:

  • Sovereign cofinancing: $821.21 million for 7 investment projects and $18.21 million for 30 technical assistance projects since 1977
  • Nonsovereign cofinancing: $5.88 billion for 18 investment projects since 2006

In 2022, Thailand received $385.51 million loan cofinancing from the Japan International Cooperation Agency for the COVID-19 Active Response and Expenditure Support Program.

 

Future Directions

ADB will continue to focus on selective interventions— predominantly upstream policy advice, capacity building, and other knowledge support—in equitable healthcare, transport development, finance sector improvement, green finance, climate change, renewable energy, and regional cooperation.

The CPS for Thailand has employed a One ADB approach of developing and implementing coordinated sovereign and nonsovereign lending and nonlending assistance that help to strengthen the country’s competitiveness, connectivity, resilience, and sustainability. Reflecting Thailand’s position as an upper middle-income country, the CPS lays out the three dimensions to ADB’s engagement strategy: “for Thailand,” “with Thailand,” and “in Thailand.” Broadly, the CPS priorities include addressing remaining pockets of inequality, sharing world-class knowledge on technical and social issues that did not previously exist in-country, expanding Thailand’s engagement in regional growth, and resolving private sector expansion constraints.

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.

Contacts

Thailand Resident Mission
23rd Floor, The Offices at Central World
999/9 Rama 1 Road, Pathumwan
Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Tel: +66 2 263 5300
Fax: +66 2 263 5301
E-mail

Ministry of Finance
Rama VI Road, Phayathai
Bangkok 10400, Thailand
Tel: +66 2 273 9020
Fax: +66 2 273 9168

Latest on Thailand

The ASEAN Catalytic Green Finance Facility: Accelerating Green Infrastructure in Southeast Asia

| Video

The ASEAN Catalytic Green Finance Facility: Accelerating Green Infrastructure in Southeast Asia

The video introduces the ASEAN Catalytic Green Finance Facility, or the ACGF, with testimonies and data. The ACGF was launched in 2019 to support green infrastructure in Southeast Asia with innovative financing, capacity building, and knowledge.

Social Bonds for the Community Development in Thailand

| Video

Social Bonds for the Community Development in Thailand

In 2022, the Asian Development Bank supported the issuance of Thailand’s first social bond from a stated-own financial institution, the Government Savings Bank. The bond proceeds benefited the first and only remaining Monk Bowl Community in Bangkok.

EU Regulation: Curbing Forest Conversion for Agriculture Comes at a Price

| Blog Entry

EU Regulation: Curbing Forest Conversion for Agriculture Comes at a Price

Tropical deforestation undermines key Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially Goal 13: Climate Action and Goal 15: Life on Land, driven significantly by global demand for agricultural commodities.

Your Questions Answered: Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Healthcare and Education in Asia and the Pacific

| Blog Entry

Your Questions Answered: Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Healthcare and Education in Asia and the Pacific

ADB’s Arief Ramayandi, Minhaj Mahmud and Daniel Suryadarma answer questions about the impact of COVID-19 on Asia and the Pacific.