11 July 2024

The relationship between Thailand and Bhutan, two kingdoms with a unique geographical and cultural connection, has steadily strengthened in recent years.

Despite the vast distance between the two nations, their shared values and royal family ties have fostered a harmonious and burgeoning relationship.

During Bhutanese Prime Minister Dasho Tshering Tobgay’s recent official visit to Thailand, the two countries made significant progress in various fields, including trade and investment, tourism, education, and renewable energy.

The two kingdoms also are commemorating the 35th anniversary of their diplomatic relationship.

During his bilateral discussion with Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, the two leaders agreed to accelerate the negotiation to conclude the Thailand-Bhutan Free Trade Agreement.

In the related development, Thailand expressed interest in exploring investment opportunities in Bhutan’s Gelephu Mindfulness City (GMC) project, which aligns with both countries’ shared values of technology-driven and sustainable development. 

To further promote tourism, the two kingdoms launched the “Two Kingdoms, One Destination” initiative to boost the tourism industry in their countries.

In 2023, approximately 20,000 Bhutanese visited Thailand, showcasing the growing interest in cultural exchange and tourism between the two nations.

The two leaders agreed to establish a “Friends of Thailand-Bhutan Group” to strengthen the bonds between the peoples of Thailand and Bhutan. 

The two countries also agreed to collaborate and share expertise in renewable energy, particularly in hydropower, which both nations have successfully harnessed.

This partnership will contribute to their efforts in achieving energy security and promoting sustainable practices.

Thailand congratulated Bhutan on its success in performing the country’s first kidney transplant, which was made possible through close collaboration between the two countries’ medical institutions.

To enhance medical cooperation, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the Thai Ministry of Public Health and the Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan.

Since the 1980s, Thailand has provided assistance and training to Bhutan, including capacity building in public health, agriculture, and tourism.

This ongoing support has played a significant role in strengthening the ties between the two nations.

As both Thailand and Bhutan look towards the future, their harmonious relationship, rooted in shared values, royal family connections, and a commitment to mutual growth and sustainability, is poised for continued success and expansion in the years to come,

Kavi Chongkittavorn//Photo : Bhutanese Prime Minister Dasho Tshering Tobgay