On October 6, 2023, a significant meeting took place in New Delhi, Republic of India, that has the potential to shape the future of Thai-Indian development cooperation. Mrs. Ureerat Chareontoh, the Director-General of the Thailand International Cooperation Agency (TICA), met with Shri P. Kumaran, Officer on Special Duty (OSD) for Economic Relations and Development Partnership Administration (ER&DPA) at the Ministry of External Affairs, to discuss ways to enhance collaboration between the two countries. The focus of their discussions revolved around expanding development cooperation in human resource development, both bilaterally and trilaterally.
Expanding Human Resource Development Cooperation:
Director-General Ureerat Chareontoh proposed a vision for Thailand and India to deepen their cooperation in the field of human resource development. Her vision includes the organization of country-specific training courses for Thailand, which would be facilitated by the Development Partnership Administration (DPA). This approach would enable Thai professionals to gain specialized knowledge and skills, contributing to the growth and development of Thailand’s workforce.
Furthermore, the Director-General suggested that TICA and DPA collaborate on the development of a comprehensive capacity-building and human resource development program targeting third countries in the Mekong Sub-region and South Asia. This trilateral initiative would align with the framework of the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS), where TICA serves as Thailand’s coordinator for the 3rd Pillar, focusing on Smart and Sustainable ACMECS development.
Shri P. Kumaran, OSD (ER&DPA), expressed his enthusiasm for these ideas, highlighting that DPA has successfully implemented similar modalities of cooperation with other countries. This positive response indicates that India is open to exploring new avenues for collaboration and sharing its expertise in various fields with Thailand and its neighboring countries.
Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Programme:
Currently, the Indian government already contributes significantly to human resource development in Thailand through the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Programme. Under ITEC, India offers more than 100 training courses annually, covering diverse fields and topics. These courses provide invaluable opportunities for Thai professionals to enhance their skills and knowledge, fostering mutual understanding and strengthening the bonds between the two nations.
The meeting between Director-General Ureerat Chareontoh and Shri P. Kumaran signifies a promising step towards deeper Thai-Indian development cooperation, particularly in the realm of human resource development. The proposed initiatives, including country-specific training courses for Thailand and a trilateral program for the Mekong Sub-region and South Asia, demonstrate a shared commitment to enhancing the capabilities of their respective workforces.
By expanding their collaboration, Thailand and India can leverage each other’s strengths to achieve sustainable development goals and promote regional stability. As they move forward with these initiatives, both countries have the potential to contribute positively to the growth and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region and beyond, making this meeting a pivotal moment in their partnership.