Thailand Hopes to Reset Ties

by shariff mohammed | May 02, 2017


Thailand is hoping to reset relations with Saudi Arabia in the wake of Saudi Vision 2030 which has opened up enormous trade and investment opportunities in the Kingdom. This was the view expressed by Mr. Danai Menabodhi, Charge ‘d Affaires, Thai Embassy in Riyadh in an exclusive interview with the Saudi Commerce & Economic Review. Excerpts of the interview:

 How do you like to explain current state of Saudi-Thai relations?

The relations are getting improved gradually, step by step, after the historic tripartite meeting in Bangkok in early October 2016 between Thai Prime Minister and Saudi Foreign Minister with the presence of the Bahraini Prime Minister. The exchange of visits by high dignitaries in the near future will definitely strengthen the bilateral relations.

What are the measures and initiatives being undertaken by the Thai government to take the relations to where they were before?

“Sincerity” is the key element to look after the pending issues in the past and to respect each other, in particular “the justice system”. Moreover, both sides need to look forward to the future together on the basis on being true partnerships.

Although diplomatic ties are in the levels of Charge ‘d Affaires, there have been significant trade exchanges between the two countries.  Is there any problem in export and import to and from Thailand and vice versa?

No, we can go further in a variety of trades, investment and share other areas of cooperation on Saudi Vision 2030 and “Thailand 4.0” policy, aiming at transforming its old-styled agricultural, industrial societies of economic growth into a new model of development driven by technology and creativity. Moreover, the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy, initiated by the late King Bhumibol for Thailand’s new path of development, is still a deep foundation for Sustainable Development Goals 2030.

At present, what are major Thai products exported to the Kingdom?

Motor cars; parts and accessories; air conditioning machines and parts thereof; rubber products; machinery and parts thereof; refrigerators and wood products are major export from Thailand to the Kingdom.

What are bulk products being imported from Saudi Arabia to Thailand?

Saudi Arabia mainly exports crude oils, finished oils, chemicals, fertilizers and natural gas. 

 

Saudi-Thai Trade 2016  (in millions $)

 

Total trade

7,077.06

Import from Thailand

2,212.44

Export to Thailand

4,864.62

Trade Balance

+2,652.18

 

What is the average number of Thai Muslims performing Haj and Umrah every year? And give us an idea about Muslim community in your country;

Around 9,000 Muslims from Thailand perform Haj and around 10,000 for Umrah every year. Muslims live in every province in Thailand, totaling around 6 million now.

 

What are major tourism attractions in your country?

The following spots are the major tourist attractions in Thailand.

The South/The East: the most favorite attraction of tourists with beautiful beaches, islands and hotels/resorts

The North: rich of cultures and heritages, green hills and beautiful mountains

The Central region/Bangkok: historical sites, traditional arts and culture, shopping paradise, Thai cuisines, values for money to luxurious hotels/accommodation

The North-East: historical sites, culture and traditions, famous local food    

 

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