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Map of Thailand

Map of Thailand.
flag of the Kingdom of Thailand.

Kingdom of Thailand

Overview

New Zealand has a close relationship with Thailand and is ambitious about advancing new areas of collaboration.

Our relations with Thailand date from the 1950s. The relatively narrow security/alliance dealings of the Southeast Asian Treaty Organisation (SEATO) years have been replaced by a broad-based relationship.

 

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Bilateral links

Trade and economic relationship

Thailand continues to have a strong economic base, and our bilateral trade is underpinned by the Closer Economic Partnership (CEP) agreement signed in April 2005. Thailand is also part of the ASEAN-Australia/New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA), which entered into force on 1 January 2010.

New Zealand Trade (year ended Dec 2012)

Ranking

NZ’s 10th largest trading partner

NZ Exports

NZ$626 million (FOB)

Main exports

Dairy ($287m); Cereal ($48m); Edible fruit and nuts ($43m)

NZ Imports

NZ$1,431 million (CIF)

Main imports

Vehicles ($471m); Machinery ($169m); Electrical machinery ($160m); Plastics ($140m)

Air Services

Thai International Airways (TG) operates direct flights between Bangkok and Auckland four times per week (this expected to increase to five times per week in November). Air New Zealand and Thai Airways are members of the Star Alliance.

Tourism

There were approximately 17,000 visitors from Thailand in the year to May 2012. Around 90,000 New Zealanders (which includes New Zealand citizens arriving from all destinations) visit Thailand every year.

 

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Political and cultural links

Official development assistance

New Zealand's bilateral aid programme in Thailand ceased in July 2004, when the then Prime Ministers of both countries announced that a new relationship based on regional partnership would be developed. There is interaction between New Zealand’s international aid programme and the Thailand International Cooperation Agency (TICA) in areas of mutual interest and cooperation such as the Mekong Institute. 

Under the New Zealand’s ASEAN Flagships, launched in July 2010, Thailand will participate in the New Zealand ASEAN Scholars awards, Agricultural Diplomacy programme, Disaster Risk Management programme and Young Business Leaders’ Initiative.

New Zealand also supports the Mekong Institute at Khon Kaen University in north-east Thailand.  The Mekong Institute works with other regional training institutions and mechanisms to provide human resource development to the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) – Cambodia, Lao PDR, Burma, Thailand, Viet Nam, and the Yunnan province of China. Thailand is also supported through New Zealand assistance to the United Nations Inter-Agency Project to counter human trafficking in the GMS.

Education

Education is an important and rapidly growing element in the relationship. Approximately 3,000 Thai students study in New Zealand annually. A number of New Zealand universities have developed strong links with counterpart institutions in Thailand, including with Thailand's most prestigious universities. Such links promote New Zealand education as a quality product and represent an opportunity for building research and constituent links with Thai counterparts. New Zealand has had a long association with Khon Kaen University in the north east of Thailand. Thailand is now New Zealand's largest Southeast Asian and fourth most important overall source of fee-paying students.

Immigration

Thailand is not a significant immigration source for New Zealand and numbers have been small (less than 1% of immigrants). A bilateral visa waiver agreement for tourist travel was concluded in 1987, but was suspended in December 2000. All Thai nationals travelling to New Zealand require visas; with the New Zealand Immigration Service maintaining an office in Bangkok to process visitor, student, work and residence visa applications. New Zealand visitors to Thailand are granted a 30-day permit on arrival.

Defence and Police links

Defence relations are underpinned by a Mutual Assistance Programme and annual discussions. There is also engagement in ASEAN-related forums including the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting Plus (ADMM+). The New Zealand Police and the Royal Thai Police have worked together closely in law enforcement for more than 30 years.

Environment cooperation

New Zealand and Thailand are engaged in environment cooperation, including through the Arrangement on Environment that was concluded in 2005 in the context of the New Zealand-Thailand Closer Economic Partnership Agreement. The Ministry for the Environment in New Zealand (MfE) leads the programme in collaboration with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in Thailand (MONRE). Thailand is also member of Global Research Alliance.

 

Regional and multilateral links

Thailand is a founding nation of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), which New Zealand has been a dialogue partner with since 1975. New Zealand also has a close working relationship with Thailand in regional and multilateral forums such as APEC, the WTO and the Cairns Group, the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), The ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus, and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).

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Visits

Recent Thailand high-level visits to New Zealand include:

Recent New Zealand high-level visits to Thailand include:

Travel Advice

The Safe Travel website provides a travel advisory for travellers to Thailand [external link].

Enquiries may be directed to Consular Division at the following numbers:  Ph: +64 4 439 8000; Fax:  +64 4 439 8532.

 

Embassy Details

New Zealand is represented in Thailand by:

Thailand is represented in New Zealand by:

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Page last updated: Monday, 09 December 2013 13:00 NZDT