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Canada and Thailand have a dynamic and cooperative bilateral and multilateral relationship that is continuing to expand. Canada’s first ambassador to Thailand was appointed in 1961 and the Embassy of Canada to Thailand was established in Bangkok in 1967. In addition to the Embassy of Canada to Thailand in Bangkok, Canada is represented by an honorary consulate in Chiang Mai. In Canada, Thailand is represented by the Royal Thai Embassy in Ottawa, with a consulate general and a trade office in Vancouver, a trade office in Toronto, and honorary consulates general in Edmonton and Montréal.
Canada and Thailand enjoy growing people to-people ties. Thailand is a popular tourist destination for Canadians, with approximately 273,218 entries in the country in 2019 (typical of pre-pandemic level travel). Thailand was added to the Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) program in June 2023. According to the 2021 census, 22,270 people of ethnic or cultural Thai origins are living in Canada, and it is estimated that more than 10,000 Canadians are living in Thailand. Academic relations are an important part of bilateral ties, with many Canadian universities having long-standing cooperation agreements with Thai academic institutions.
Thailand is currently Canada's second-largest overall trading partner in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region. Canada-Thailand bilateral merchandise trade increased to its highest level ever in 2022, at $6.4 billion. In 2022, Canadian merchandise exports to Thailand were valued at $1.2 billion, and imports at over $5.2 billion. Meanwhile, bilateral trade in services totalled $314 million in 2021. In addition, Canadian direct investment in Thailand totalled $319 million in 2022, while Thai direct investment in Canada reached $658 million.
Canada has been an active partner in fostering Thailand’s economic, social and democratic development. Since bilateral relations were established in 1961, Canada has contributed more than $450 million to Thailand through its bilateral assistance program. Although this program has since ended, Canada continues to promote the advancement of inclusive governance, growth that works for everyone, gender equality, and environment and climate action in the country, notably through the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI), and through its ASEAN Regional Development Program. The $10 million Canada-ASEAN Scholarships and Educational Exchanges for Development (SEED) program provides students and mid-career professionals, particularly women, from all ten ASEAN member states with the opportunity to apply for short-term studies or research in Canada. To date, 140 students from Thailand have received scholarships.
The Embassy of Canada to Thailand works closely with local civil society organizations, academic and diplomatic partners, and government agencies to promote:
- freedom of expression and assembly
- the rule of law
- gender equality
- women’s rights
- the protection of human rights defenders
- the rights of 2SLGBTQI+ communities
- the rights of refugees and asylum seekers
The Embassy is also working with other Canadian missions in the region, including our Mission to ASEAN, to advance Canada’s regional and global foreign policy priorities. We also work actively with Thailand through the United Nations on issues such as peacekeeping, women, peace and security, and regional security.
Partnerships and organizations
To develop effective responses to today’s most pressing global challenges, Canada and Thailand work closely in multilateral forums, such as:
- Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
- Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
- La Francophonie
- International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
- Pacific Alliance
- United Nations (UN)
- United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
- World Trade Organization (WTO)
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