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Thailand-India Relations Thrive on Shared Vision- Peace, Development and Cooperation

Thailand-India Relations Thrive on Shared Vision- Peace, Development and Cooperation
February 23
15:37 2021

By Neelapu Shanti

Bio- Author is New Delhi Based International Affairs Researcher, writer and Indo-Afghan Analyst.

The relation between Thailand and India is bound by the values of peace, humanism and fraternity. Close ties of both nations existed for thousands of years sharing enduring and cultural values. India’s influence lives on in contemporary Thailand. The Indian languages Sanskrit and Pali have influenced Thai languages. Geographically Thailand and India lie at the heart of the Indo-Asia Pacific sharing an inland border with Andaman Island. Thailand is marked by rapid and sustainable development that makes an ever-greater contribution to peace, stability and prosperity in the region, playing an expanding role with India. India’s ‘Act East Policy’ is well complemented with Thailand’s Act ‘West Policy’ which provides a solid foundation to strengthen further and foster friendship and cooperation between the two nations. Here lie the common interest and shared vision of both Thailand and India in the path of development in the international arena. Thailand and India’s relation are evolving at an ever-greater scope, frequency and level being the member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) comprising of ten members: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, to promote economic, political, and security cooperation. Thailand and India are making efforts to forge substantive links, engage in deeper economic and political integration and foster people-to-people ties among them. Thailand-India is connecting resources and harmonising interests for continuous, more dynamic and more sustainable development being the regional partners linking with South and Southeast Asia. The two countries regional cooperation like the ASEAN, East Asia Summit (EAS) and BIMSTEC groupings as also Mekong Ganga Cooperation (MGC), Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) and Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) amplify their strength, building together upon their roles and status as to build a common development space for peace, stability, cooperation and development that can more effectively respond to the challenges and establish a comprehensive strategic partnership.

Economic and trade cooperation is growing dramatically well with bilateral trade increased from USD 8.65 billion in 2014 to USD 12.12 billion in 2019. In ASEAN, Thailand is India’s fifth-largest trading partner after Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia. Seventy-three years of flourishing diplomatic ties between Thailand and India spells the strong effort and determination of the two countries which will become the pillar of regional integration and development for significant contributions to peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world.

Security cooperation has also expanded between Thailand and India and become a strategic pillar in bilateral relations. The maritime connections between Thailand and India are long-standing. The air connections between Thailand and India have also grown exponentially. More than 300 flights were exchanged before the COVID-19 restrictions on travel were imposed. The cultural connections between Thailand and India are deep and broad. Buddhism came to Thailand from India. Thailand and India consistently support their active participation in regional linkages and cooperation mechanisms setting forth greater achievements and live up to the expectations of the two countries and the world at large.

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