The year 2011 marks the 50th anniversary of formal diplomatic relations between Canada and Thailand. In Thailand, Canada is represented by the Embassy of Canada in Bangkok and a Consulate headed by an honorary consul in the northern city of Chiang Mai. Thailand is represented in Canada by an Embassy in Ottawa, with Consulates-General in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal.
Bilateral relations with Thailand have expanded steadily over the years. Today, the two countries have a healthy relationship in many areas and the links between both populations are strong. In 2009, over ten thousand Thais visited Canada for tourism, study, or work. There are an estimated five thousand Canadians living in Thailand and over 170,000 Canadians visited Thailand in 2009. Academic relations are also an important part of the bilateral relationship, with many Canadian universities having long-standing cooperation agreements with Thai academic institutions.
Canada has taken an active role in assisting Thailand's economic, social and democratic development. Today, Canada's efforts focus on strengthening human rights and good governance, particularly in the three southernmost provinces and among Burmese refugee populations along Thailand's western border. Canada is recognized as a leader by local residents in the Muslim-majority south in promoting human rights and encouraging dialogue.
Following Thailand’s return to democratic rule in 2007, Canada has supported initiatives to promote discussion on democratic consolidation. The Embassy has supported participation by Canadian speakers in several conferences on topics such as constitutional reform, democracy and accountability, and human security.
Canada and Thailand are Dialogue Partners in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and are partners in regional institutions, such as Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and the security-oriented ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF). Thailand acts as Canada’s Coordinating Country within ASEAN. Canada and Thailand are also partners in a number of multilateral organizations that operate beyond the Asia-Pacific sphere, such as the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Thailand is not a recipient of direct bilateral or partnership assistance from Canada. The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) provides contributions to Thailand through regional and multilateral programs.