Wednesday, November 20, 2019

World Bank marks 70 years of cooperation with Thailand

Jul 01. 2019
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By The Nation

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2019 marks the 70th anniversary of cooperation between Thailand and the World Bank, a partnership that has made an important contribution to the Kingdom’s poverty reduction, as well as its social and economic development.

 

In just the last 30 years, poverty has declined substantially, going from 67 per cent in 1986 to 7.8 per cent in 2017.

“At the World Bank, we are particularly proud of our partnership with the Government of Thailand and are honoured to have been given a chance to help deliver tangible results and have a positive impact on the lives of the Thai people over the last seven decades,” said Mara Warwick, the World Bank’s Country Director for Thailand, Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines.

The Thailand-World Bank partnership has evolved over time with the changing global context. In the early years, the international institution’s direct financial assistance to Thai development concentrated on the building of basic infrastructure – roads, dams, irrigation works, electricity infrastructure, rail transport and port facilities – all of which helped to boost production and commercial activity in the country. Seventy years later, Thailand has grown into a dynamic middle-income country, and the relationship has benefited from not only financing but also analytical work and policy advice from the World Bank Group.

“As part of our knowledge-based partnership of today, we advise the Government of Thailand on key reforms and policy issues,” said Birgit Hansl, World Bank’s Country Manager for Thailand. “With this partnership we seek to improve the lives of people by ensuring that they and the Thai economy are prepared for the main challenges of ageing and digital transformation, improving the quality of education so future generations can take part in Thailand’s growth, and by safeguarding that the marginalized also benefit from Thailand’s prosperity.”

The 70th anniversary coincides with the launch of the new Country Partnership Framework of the World Bank Group and the Government of Thailand, which is aligned to the country’s 20-Year National Strategy and 12th National Economic and Social Development Plan.

The Country Partnership Framework is anchored around a broad engagement on Thailand’s development path towards greater inclusion, resilience and competitiveness. Looking ahead, the Group looks forward to expanding its support to help Thailand improve its business environment, fiscal and economic management and infrastructure in a rapidly expanding digital economy and in the context of a rapidly aging society. It aims to promote higher equality, higher quality of education, and support targeted policies and programmes for inclusion of disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, including in conflict-affected areas of southern Thailand.

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