United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Thailand

Thank you Madam Chair,
First of all, I wish to thank all the panelists for their interesting views and comments. I wish to share Thailand?s perspective on our policy implementations and lessons learned .
Thailand is the fifth food feeding country of the world. However, poverty is still highly evident in agricultural sector. This sector accommodates more than 38 percent of population but it shares only 10 percent of the gross domestic product. Therefore, the national policy for rural development and poverty reduction has always been placed on agricultural development. Our approach has been based on His Majesty the King?s Philosophy on Sufficiency Economy which calls for moderation and mindfulness in consumption, prudent economic decision making and careful risk management.
His Majesty the King has promoted rural development, particularly at the community level by putting great importance on the diversification of farming and household production to guarantee that basic substance needs are met in times of hardship. The Royal Thai Government has also placed an emphasis on agriculture and rural development in the Tenth National Development Plan during
the year 2007-2011. The targets have been set to reduce numbers of poor farm households to 4 percent within 2011 and to maintain economic growth rate of agriculture sector at least 3 percent per year. To empower people in rural area in terms of supplementary income, the government launched the One Tambon-One Product Program (OTOP) which helps people leverage their unique skills and craftsmanship to create local made products. The government also helps for marketing of those products.
Finally, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that international trade liberalization is one of the challenges facing agriculture and rural development, especially for agricultural exporting country like Thailand. We would like to reiterate that more global cooperation in the agricultural negotiations toward a more market oriented world trading system through substantially increased market access, elimination of export subsidies and substantial reductions in trade-distorting domestic support is strongly needed. We encourage the reinforcement of the multilateral trading system by strengthening efforts to successfully complete the Doha Development Agenda to bring about more free and fair trade on agriculture commodities to the world market.
Thank you Madam Chair
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