Trivia about the Philippines-Thailand Diplomatic Relations
Philippine relations with Thailand are among the oldest and most fruitful in Philippine history. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties on 14 June 1949, relations between the two countries have been characterized by cordiality, harmony, and dynamism.
The Philippines and Thailand share many similarities. The two countries have been brought to new heights through frequent exchanges of visits by their officials. In December 1992, former President Fidel V. Ramos visited Thailand and in September 1995, former Thai Prime Minister Banharn Silpa-Archa visited the Philippines. Former President Ramos also traveled to Thailand in December 1995 and March 1996 to altend the 5th ASEAN Summit and the Asia-Europe Meeting, respectively. Former Thai Prime Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh visited the Philippines in January 1997,and on 18-20 December 1998, President Joseph Ejercito Estrada visited Thailand.
People-to-people contacts between the nationals of the Philippines and Thailand have always been warm. Thailand hosts around 5,000 Filipinos comprising of students, professionals, UN employees and others. The Thai officials have extended ready and friendly support and cooperation in the performance of the Philippine Government of its duty to protect the interest of its nationals in Thailand. There are around 260 Thais in the Philippines, who are mostly students and businessman.
Over the years, Philippine-Thai relations have yielded a total of 15 bilateral agreements covering, among others areas, trade, investment, tourism, science and technology, agriculture, defense, and taxation. Trade and investment is one sector where cooperation continues to grow. Five years ago, the Philippines’ total trade with Thailand amounted to US$560 million. Last year, this figure reached US$l.4 billion. The enhancement of political and economic relations was aided by the establishment of the Philippines-Thailand Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBCI) a forum aimed at conducting, reviewing, and assessing the two countries’ relations. The third meeting of the RP-Thailand JCBC will be hosted by the Philippines on 10-13 June 1999.
The visit to the Philippines of H. E.Chuan Leekpai, Prime Minister of the Royal Kingdom of Thailand on 13-15 June 1999 is another opportunity for further strengthening the ties that bind Filipino and their Thai brothers. The visit, which coincides with the celebration of the golden jubilee of Philippine-Thailand bilateral relations on 14 June 1999 serves as a warm reassurance of the prospects of an event more fruitful and enduring relationship in the new millennium.