During his first visit to Southeast Asia since taking office, the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture
Organization of the United Nations (FAO), QU Dongyu, visited Thailand carrying proposals for partnerships and offers to
jointly support the country as a regional hub for innovation and food systems transformation.FAO Chief discusses partnerships, innovation and technology in Thailand’s food and agriculture sectors, with the Kingdom
seen as a potential hub of excellence to help deliver the SDGs.
The Director-General had a warm and fruitful discussion with Thai Prime Minister, H.E. Prayuth Chan-O-Cha., He thanked
the Prime Minister and people of Thailand for their long standing support for FAO’s work and, in particular, for hosting
the decades-old FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in the capital Bangkok.
“FAO is committed to do more in our partnership with Thailand,” said QU Dongyu. “I am very impressed with your
development policies, particularly your innovative approaches to digital farming.”
The Kingdom of Thailand has a close working relationship with FAO, developed over a period of many decades. In addition
to hosting the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, it is also home to a number of other regional UN sister
agencies based in Bangkok.Bringing the private sector and civil society to the table
The Director-General later joined an informal lunch with key representatives of the private sector, academia and civil
society organizations in Bangkok.
The participants discussed ways to strengthen their work together to mutual benefit and in particular to help achieve
the SDGs by 2030.
“These partnerships are an opportunity to work together in a new way,” said QU Dongyu. “Working together with you,
through our FAO Hand in Hand initiative – an FAO matchmaking initiative - is in all our interests, and most importantly
it will help lead us to defeating hunger and poverty by the 2030 deadline,” he added.
Thailand is a net food exporter and a major communication and transportation hub in Southeast Asia, with excellent
access to trading routes through both the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and overland routes to neighbouring Cambodia, Lao
People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, and on to China, India and Viet Nam.