|Royal Thai Embassy in Hà Nội and Thai private sector in Việt Nam organised a blood donation on July 24. — Photo courtesy of the embassy|
On the occasion of the birthday of King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua (July 28), Ambassador Tanee Sangrat writes to Việt Nam News readers about the relations between two countries and the aspiration of volunteerism
Diplomatic ties between Thailand and Việt Nam date back to the 18th century during the reign of King Phra Phutthayotfa Chulalok (King Rama I) of Siam, followed by King Paramindr Maha Pradjahipok’s (King Rama VII of Siam or present-day Thailand) visit to Sài Gòn (now HCM City) in April 1930. The Bronze Elephant Statue, erected in front of Le Temple Souvenir (Hùng Kings Temple nowadays) inside the Botanical Garden of HCM City, represents the friendship and commemorated his visit. It has been a symbol of our rapport for almost a century. A stone replica of the statue is now displayed at the Royal Thai Embassy in Hà Nội.
King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua (King Rama X) made an official visit to Việt Nam, as Crown Prince, in 1992 at the invitation of Lê Đức Anh, former President of Việt Nam. In 2018, the King initiated the volunteer project 'We Do Good Deeds with Our Hearts' to promote a volunteer spirit and unity for the benefits of Thai people and local communities in many countries where Thai people live.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, people in all walks of lives have been affected by the unprecedented health crisis. Việt Nam and Thailand can show a volunteer spirit in helping their peoples in these times of difficulties.
With this spirit, on the occasion of the King’s birthday on July 28, the Royal Thai Embassy in Hà Nội, with Việt Nam National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion, the Thai private sector in Việt Nam (CP Vietnam, CAC, Central Group, MM Megamarket and Prime Group), organised a blood donation drive on July 24 to foster volunteerism among Thai and Vietnamese communities. In addition, the Embassy and Thai private sector and community also provided relief supplies and financial support to the Việt Nam Fatherland Front in May and Phúc Xá Commune in Hà Nội in June to support COVID-19 control and prevention efforts.
Consistent with our community spirit, our two countries’ relations are at their best as we agreed to intensify bilateral relations to a Strengthened Strategic Partnership in 2019. Economic relations continue to blossom. Thailand is Việt Nam’s number one trading partner in ASEAN with more than US$17 billion in total trade in 2019 and an average 12 per cent growth in recent years. Thailand is Việt Nam’s ninth biggest investment partner while Việt Nam is Thailand’s most important base for investment abroad, exceeding $12.3 billion. The Thai public and private sectors are committed to working closely with the Vietnamese Government for shared prosperity. We encourage two-way trade and investment, as well as intra-ASEAN trade for the mutual benefits of our peoples.
Looking forward, Thailand and Việt Nam are preparing for the 4th Joint Cabinet Retreat later this year, which will set the future direction of our relations.
An important focus of our relations is the people-to-people aspect, which has long been the foundation of our friendship. The late President Hồ Chí Minh travelled to Thailand during the 1920-1930s to mobilise support for the independence of Việt Nam. His footprints remain across the country, from Pichit to Nakhon Phanom and Udon Thani provinces. Since then, the Thai-Vietnamese community of more than 100,000 with remarkable economic and educational achievements has been flourishing, while maintaining bonds with their families and friends who returned to Việt Nam.
I will continue to focus on bringing our peoples closer by, among other things, engaging the youth, promoting two-destination tourism and sister cities and provinces relations, linking infrastructure and logistics, as we plan to celebrate the 45th anniversary of our diplomatic relations in 2021.
Chúc mừng. Xin cảm ơn. — VNS