Thailand and the Republic of Fiji have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on technical cooperation, and both nations have expressed their willingness to strengthen bilateral relations.
The MOU was signed by Deputy Prime Minister General Tanasak Patimapragorn, who served as a special envoy for Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha during his visit to Fiji for the third Pacific Island Development Forum (3rd PIDF) in Suva from 31 August to 3 September 2015.
According to a report from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the MOU on Technical Cooperation illustrates Thailand’s readiness to initiate training programs and provide postgraduate scholarships to improve Fiji’s eco-tourism. In addition, Thailand and Fiji will initiate the "3 Years Cooperation Plan” to establish a "learning center” for specific fields of education that Fiji requires, such as, sustainable development, agriculture, and human resources management.
On 2 September 2015, the Deputy Prime Minister was invited to the opening ceremony of the 3rd PIDF, under the theme "Building Climate Resilient Green/Blue Pacific Economies.” On this occasion, he addressed Thailand’s role in tackling the issue of climate change and introduced plans for sustainable Green and Blue Economies to the leaders and high-level representatives of 15 PIDF member states and 19 non-member states.
Furthermore, the Deputy Prime Minister reaffirmed that Thailand is ready to exchange experiences and methods of development with Pacific Islands in all fields, especially education. Also, Thailand is willing to bilaterally provide scholarships to students from Pacific Islands, as part of "Annual International Training Courses,” in the accordance with the "3 Years Cooperation Plan.”
After the opening remarks, the leaders and the high level representatives from Pacific Island nations and other nations were invited to the exhibition on "Thailand and the Philosophy of Sufficiency Economy: A Path to Sustainable development.” The exhibition took place at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva. It presented some examples of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s Philosophy of Sufficiency Economy toward sustainable development, which reflected Thailand’s willingness to support and cooperate with Pacific Islands. The exhibition received positive feedbacks.
Both Thailand and Fiji also expressed their willingness to strengthen bilateral relations, for example, the establishment of Fiji Embassy in Thailand and the organizing of the "Thailand – Fiji Business and Investment Seminar” in Suva, hosted by Royal Thai Embassy in Canberra. They will also increase cooperation in trade and investment on sugar, coconuts, and fishery, as well as in education between Thai universities, the University of South Pacific, and other Fijian universities.