The Embassy of the Kingdom of Thailand marked its National Day in Doha with fervour on Tuesday. Ambassador Soonthorn Chaiyindeepum welcomed HE Dr Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada, Minister of Energy and Industry; Dr Ahmed bin Hassan al-Hammadi, Foreign Ministry’s Secretary-General; and Ibrahim Yousif Abdullah Fakhro, Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Chief of Protocol, at the glittering ceremony.
The rendezvous at St Regis drew a host of Qatari dignitaries, diplomatic corps, members of the Thai community in Doha, and a large number of guests from different walks of life.
The Day is noted for its three aspects; one, being the country’s National Day; two, as the birth anniversary of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej; and finally, on its merit as the country’s ‘Father’s Day’.
For Thais however, this year’s occasion was particularly poignant since it follows the demise of the much revered ‘Father of the Nation’ King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who passed away, last October.
In his speech on the occasion, Ambassador Chaiyindeepum recalled with much fondness the seven-decade reign of the King Bhumibol Adulyadej and his tireless contribution for the people.
“His Majesty travelled to every corner of the Kingdom. He visited his people to learn how they live or what struggles they endure. The visits led to the setting up of more than 4,500 royal development projects under his initiative in numerous areas, from agriculture to environment, irrigation, public health and education in order to help uplift the quality of life of the Thai people,” Ambassador Chaiyindeepum said.
The idea, the envoy, felt had culminated in a “Sufficiency Economy Philosophy” that “encourages Thai people to live within their means and apply reasonableness, moderation and self-immunity as the way of life”.
The envoy confidently predicted that the country would continue its forward march under His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun.
“Development in Thailand has never stopped or delayed. The government is committed to the democratic values with the rule of law, good governance, transparency, and respect for human rights as well as to enhance relations with all partners and playing a constructive role in Asean and the international community. Our economy continues to grow steadily. This year’s GDP growth is expected to be 3.5-4%, with infrastructure investment, exports and tourism as key drivers of the economy,” the ambassador pointed out.
He was also sanguine about the bilateral relationship with Qatar since diplomatic ties were officially set in motion in 1980. He made special mention of Qatar’s “leading role in the global energy supply” and felt the current Gulf crisis would not impinge on the growing bilateral economic relationship.
“Last year, the total volume of trade between our two countries stood at US$2.73 billion. For the past 10 months of this year (January-October), our two-way trade has already reached $2.46 billion. Qatar remains the biggest supplier of LNG to my country while export of food products from Thailand to Qatar has increased around 30 per cent, and automobile parts around 10 per cent, respectively. We are optimistic that this year’s trade volume will surpass that of last year,” he enthused.
In conclusion, the ambassador expressed his heartfelt appreciation to His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and His Highness the Father Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani and the Government of the State of Qatar “for the kind support that enables the Thai community to live and work happily in this country”.
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