Building on this philosophy, Thailand aims to demonstrate the value of collaboration. In 2015, the Kingdom provided $78 million in Official Development Assistance to other countries through the Thailand International Cooperation Agency. That same year, foreign direct investment surpassed $58 billion—much of which went to the developing world. As a donor nation, Thailand is committed to providing funds, knowledge, technical assistance, scholarships, and capacity-building resources with less developed nations.

But even more important than funding, Thailand is sharing its knowledge and experience with the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy. To date, representatives from 105 countries have participated in workshops, seminars, and training courses hosted by Thailand on the philosophy and its applications.

Thailand has partnered with several countries to help them implement their own development projects based on SEP principles and methods. Timor-Leste is employing decision-making processes based on the philosophy’s framework for sustainable agriculture projects and to support the launch of small business. Cambodia has established a Sufficiency Economy village as a pilot for more communities. Indonesia is using sufficiency principles shared by Thai advisors for ecological farming projects that raise incomes and quality of life for villagers. And neighboring Myanmar is working with Thai partners to establish sustainable development centers and rural development projects.

The philosophy is even reaching local peoples far beyond Asia. In the southern African nation of Lesotho, Thailand has supported the establishment of a center to introduce integrated and agro-forestry farming that is protecting that nation’s environment while providing greater food security and livelihoods. Guillame Long, Ecuador’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, also sang the philosophy’s praises to the UN General Assembly last year: “Development approaches like the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy of Thailand, that promote development with values that not only complement the [SDG] agenda, but our own national development framework, will certainly help us in implementing the SDGs.”

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 will require commitment and perseverance. For some countries in the Global South with limited resources and capacity, the tasks at hand may appear enormous. But Thailand serves as an example of what’s possible: Despite its own limitations, Thailand achieved the Millennium Development Goals ahead of schedule, owing a significant degree of that success to the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy. Thailand is willing to partner with any country seeking knowledge, expertise and a proven path to sustainable development. Because there is only one way to build a better world—and that way is together.

This article was produced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Thailand and not by the Quartz editorial staff.

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