Thailand and India share maritime boundary and have cross-histories going back to the 329 BC when the Indian Emperor Ashoka sent Sona and Uttra to Suvanabhumi to spread the message of Buddhism in Thailand. Diplomatic relations between Thailand and India were established soon after India gained independence in August 1947. In 2012, 65 years of diplomatic relations was celebrated in both countries.
Throughout the past six decades after the establishment of diplomatic relations, our two countries have leveraged our long-standing historical and cultural ties into the current warm friendship, close cooperation and shared values. The convergence of Thailand’s “Look West” policy since 1996 and India’s “Look East” policy of 1993 has resulted in mutually beneficial cooperation covering diverse dimensions ranging from trade & investment, science & technology, defence, agriculture to tourism, culture and education. During his visit to Nay Phi Taw, Myanmar to attend the 12th ASEAN Summit in November 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the upgrade of the “Look East” Policy to “Act East” Policy. Prime Minister Modi
Significant improvements in the relations between Thailand and India were brought in by the increasing exchange of high-level visits of both sides.
The visits to the Republic of India by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and Her Royal Highness Princess Chulabhorn have highlighted the cordial relations between our two countries at the highest level. The exchange visits by the Thai and Indian Prime Minister and cabinet members, leaders and members of parliament, as well as the judiciary at bilateral, regional and multilateral levels have contributed to the closer political, security, economic, social as well as cultural ties between our two countries and peoples. From the Thai side, the Prime Minister last visited India in December 2012 to attend the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in New Delhi and then the Prime Minister of India visited Thailand in May 2013. Both sides hope that the next Prime Minister visit will be from the Thai side by the end of 2015.
The Thailand-India Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) for Bilateral Cooperation has served as a major mechanism to strengthen bilateral ties. India hosted the 6th JCM in 2011 in New Delhi and Thailand is scheduled to host the next JCM in June 2015 in Bangkok. Another important mechanism is the Foreign Office Consultation (FOC), which was last held in New Delhi on 8 September 2014. The previous FOC was held in Bangkok on 10 August 2012.
Among the top priorities for both Thailand and India is the security cooperation, realizing that security problems and terrorism have broadened and have increasingly become challenges to the international community. Joint Working Group on security cooperation established in 2003 has provided a useful framework to push forward cooperation in this field for the two countries. The National Security Councils of both sides have worked closely on mutual areas of concern such as counter-terrorism, military cooperation, maritime security, international economic and cyber-crimes, anti-narcotics and money laundering.
The Thailand-India defence cooperation comprises regular staff talks, joint exercises/ maritime patrols, training of officers at each others’ institutions and exchange of visits at various levels. MoU and Standards Operating Procedures for Coordinated Patrol signed in 2007 ensure the effective implementation of the Law of the Sea to prevent illegal activities.
During the visit of Prime Minister of Thailand to India and attended the Republic Day as chief guest in January 2012, the MoU on Defence Cooperation was signed. The activities under the Defence Cooperation comprises regular joint exercises/ joint maritime patrols near the international maritime boundary to counter terrorism, piracy and smuggling; training of officers at each others’ Armed Forces Training institutions and participation as observers in military exercises.
As of 29 May 2015