Director General in Thailand: UNIDO to scale up efforts to help achieve the SDGs
16 October 2023
BANGKOK - During his mission to Thailand, UNIDO Director General Gerd Müller explored opportunities to expand support to the country in alignment with the priorities of the newly elected government and with Thailand’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Roadmap.
UNIDO is already a key partner for Thailand in the field of decarbonization and environmental protection, as well as in the field of sustainable urban mobility. The Director General met with Gita Sabharwal, the UN Resident Coordinator in Thailand, and discussed how UNIDO can scale up its efforts to help the country achieve the SDGs, notably through CO2 capture, promoting green hydrogen, and leveraging technology for agriculture. Müller and Sabharwal agreed that these are core priorities for lowering emissions, enhancing agricultural yields and counter food insecurity.
The Director General also met with Danucha Pichayanan, Secretary General of the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC), who indicated that UNIDO could help Thai SMEs in transitioning to low-carbon models, as well as to benefit from a carbon trading system. Müller indicated that UNIDO will support the implementation of the 13th National Economic and Social Development Plan, addressing issues related to vocational training, decarbonization, economic growth and inequality.
Müller then visited Thailand Science Park, the country’s first science and technology park, established to promote innovation and research and development in the private sector. At the park, the Director General held discussions with Sukit Limpijumnong, President of the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), about the long-standing cooperation between the two organizations and about potential collaborations, include battery swapping, biotechnology and South-South Cooperation.
The Director General said, “UNIDO has been working with NSTDA continuously since 2008 on a number projects funded by the Global Environment Facility. And I am proud of the excellent cooperative relationship we have built, as we are partners in a number of flagship projects in Thailand, such as piloting electric vehicles in Rayong city; mainstreaming the production of bioethanol from cassava – a good example of South-South technology transfer among Mekong countries; advancing a cleantech programme for SMEs and start-ups; and on the National Implementation Plan for the inventory of toxic chemicals listed in the Stockholm Convention. These are great examples of what we can do together.”
Müller also experienced first-hand some green technologies developed by NTSDA, such as electric motorbikes, and proposed to further explore regional projects and South-South Cooperation initiatives, so to further mainstream Thai technology.