South-South Cooperation through Sufficiency Economy Philosophy

A villager in Koh Kong Province of Cambodia explained how SEP was applied to his community development.

On 14-18 February 2018, Thai officials took international representatives and partners to visit several provinces in the eastern part of the country and the Koh Kong Province of Cambodia in a study visit to see South-South cooperation through the application of the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy (SEP). The UN Office for South-South cooperation Regional Office for Asia-Pacific was part of the invited group.


The study visit was part of a short-term training course entitled “Sufficiency Economy Philosophy (SEP): Thailand’s Path towards Sustainable Development” tailored to the needs of participating countries. The participating countries in this training were Bangladesh, Chile, Kyrgyz Republic, the Philippines, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu. The six countries  plan to apply the SEP (Thailand’s homegrown development approach to sustainable development), in their local contexts. The course was co-organised by Thailand International Cooperation Agency (TICA) and the National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA) with the objective to share knowledge about community development based on the application of the SEP.


Among the key development projects visited was the Sufficiency Economy Village for Sustainable Development on Road No. 48 (Koh Kong – Sri Amble) in Koh Kong Province of Cambodia. The project was conceived out of the two countries’ neighbourly collaborative attempt to turn the less developed and natural resource depleted area to a model village with economically self-reliant residents through occupational training and imparting other community and household management skills. The village has succeeded in being a model and has now become community learning centre for development for other Cambodian villages.


Village developed for sustainable eco-tourism as part of the SEB-based economic self-reliance.


“Change was not created in one night; you must set a good example and villagers will follow. Most importantly, change must be sustainable,” said the Manager of Kung Krabaen Bay Royal Development Study Center on the coastal area of Thailand’s Chanthaburi Province which the Group also visited. The Study Center lies on the mangrove forest which has been rehabilitated and studied pertaining to sustainable coastal resource management. The Center has conducted agricultural and fishery development projects and provided knowledge of fishery research to nearby villagers as a supporting tool for self-reliance.


Thailand has been building its global partnerships to share knowledge on the SEP and its application. The SEP is a legacy of His Majesty King Bhumibol to support the achievement of sustainable development and is therefore relevant for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) in developing countries. The conduct of the training course and the study visit were part of the Government’s SEP for SDGs Partnership initiative.


  Photos: Courtesy of TICA