BANGKOK, July 31 — Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ American and South Pacific Department will host the 1st Thailand-Pacific Island Countries Forum (TPIF) on August 9-10 at the Sukosol Hotel in Bangkok.
The Forum will be held under the theme “Strengthening Development Cooperation towards Common Prosperity.”
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’, invitations are extended to delegations from 14 Pacific Island countries–the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palua, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.
Observers from Australia and New Zealand are also invited to participate in the platform to achieve its aim of promoting the framework of development cooperation between Thailand and the countries in South Pacific region.
The TPIF will serve as a conducive arena for high-level delegations of the 17 countries to exchange views, share experiences and best practices, and to deepen as well as broaden development cooperation between Thailand and its partners.
The two-day event will feature five panels on various topics related to development agenda as to stimulate participation and opinions from all sides.
The topics include Sufficiency Economy, sustainable development, agriculture and fisheries, tourism, community development, energy and environment, as well as trade and investment.
Following the discussions there will be site visits to showcase some of Thailand’s best practices on sufficiency and community development.
Thailand has continuously enjoyed cordial ties with the Pacific Island partners both at bilateral and multilateral levels, in particular, under the framework of Pacific Islands Forum (PIF).
Thailand is one of twelve dialogue partners in the Post Forum Dialogue (PFD) and has become an important Emerging Donor Countries in this respective region.
For almost two decades, the Thailand International Cooperation Agency (TICA) under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has played a growing role in promoting development cooperation among other developing countries as formulated under the Thai International Cooperation Programme (TICP).
In addition to the Ministry’s own initiatives, TICA accumulates funds as well as other means of assistance from several partner organizations in order to further promote the international cooperation in less developing countries.
One hundred twenty-four grants, amounting to Bt25.75 billion, have been contributed to the South Pacific countries.
This means 5 to 10 grants annually in forms of international training courses and post-graduate programmes of selective subject areas such as agriculture, fisheries, tourism, health care, education, community development, and environmental study.
The 14 Pacific Island Countries have the potential to become emerging markets for Thai products and investments.
They have a combined population of over 10 million and are rich in natural resources, including mineral and renewable resources, and forestry.
TPIF reaffirms Thailand’s role and commitment in international development cooperation among Pacific partners and serve as a response to the call of the United Nations to further promote South-South Cooperation among developing countries in all regions.