CHIANGRAI TIMES – The Relationship between the Philippines and Thailand began in the 13th century in the context of Southeast Asian maritime trade. Archaeological records point not only to commercial and cultural ties but also recognition of their political stature – Siam with its kingdoms and the Philippines with its rajahs. By 1586, more than two decades after the Spaniards set foot in the Philippines, Siam was mentioned as a possible goal of commercial interests and physical expansion and the first contact was made between Spain and Thailand.
The Philippines and Thailand formally established diplomatic ties on June 14, 1949, when they signed a Treaty of Friendship. Relations between the two countries continue to be characterized by harmony, dynamism, and warmth. They were strengthened when they became founding members of the Southeast Asian Treaty Organization (SEATO) in 1954, ASEAN in 1967, and other regional and international forums thereafter.
Several bilateral agreements have since been signed – on defence, investment, environment, tourism, air services, and scientific, technical, agriculture, and telecommunications exchanges.
As part of her introductory tour of ASEAN countries after becoming the head of Thailand, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra visited the Philippines on January 12, 2012. In a joint press conference during the visit, President Benigno S. Aquino III and Prime Minister Shinawatra committed to maintain their economic relationship, including the easing of trade and investment restrictions, education, exploring other areas of cooperation.