The Embassy of Thailand in Pretoria celebrated its National Day on the 4th of December at the Pretoria Country Club.

H.E. Mr. Mungkorn Pratoomkaew welcomed members of the Diplomatic Corps and distinguished guests.

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Kingdom of Thailand and the Republic of South Africa in December 1994, the two countries have enjoyed fruitful cooperation. Earlier this year, Thailand hosted a senior official meeting in Bangkok where several topics were discussed, including tourism and fostering a new dynamic relationship in trade.

Thailand held a general election earlier this year, and the new government is committed to implementing economic policies with international partners, especially with South Africa, the sole trading partner from the African continent to Thailand.

The expectation is to see an increase in trade and more high-level visits taking place in 2024.

South Africa has been the number one trading partner on the African continent in South East Asia. This year, trade has surpassed the 2022 amount with a 20% increase recorded up to October.

Thailand attracts tourists from all around the world. Since January this year, nearly 50,000 South Africans have visited the country, amounting to 50% of the pre-COVID record of 100,000 visitors. Currently, a memorandum of understanding in cooperation with tourism is being negotiated, and there is hope that once this is signed, the people-to-people connection between the two countries will further evolve.

Minister of Health, Dr. Joe Phaahla, congratulated Thailand on behalf of the South African government and the people of South Africa on their National Day, which celebrates the birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. This day has been observed as the National Day since 1960.

South Africa and Thailand celebrate 30 years of diplomatic relations this year. Throughout 2023, several delegations were exchanged, including the 7th South Africa-Thailand senior officials’ meeting held in Bangkok in March 2023. During this meeting, a range of issues were discussed between senior officials, reaffirming both countries’ determination to seek closer cooperation across multiple spheres for the mutual benefit and progress of both nations.

Toasting to continued relations between the two countries, guests enjoyed performances and the renowned Thai cuisine.

by Marion Kate