Qatar-Thailand trade grows despite siege

 07 Dec 2017 - 8:50

Qatar-Thailand trade grows despite siege
Minister of Energy and Industry H E Dr Mohammed bin Saleh Al Sada (fourth left) and Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs H E Dr Ahmad Hassan Al Hamadi (fourth right), Director of the Protocol Department Ambassador Ibrahim Yousif Abdullah Fakhroo (third left), Ambassador of Thailand, Soonthorn Chaiyindeepum (centre) along with ambassadors and other dignitaries during a cake cutting ceremony to mark the National Day of the Kingdom of Thailand. Pic: Kammutty VP / The Peninsula

By Raynald C Rivera | The Peninsula

The total trade volume between Thailand and Qatar is expected to grow this year despite the current siege, says Thailand Ambassador Soonthorn Chaiyindeepum.    

Speaking at the reception marking Thailand’s National Day on Tuesday, Chaiyindeepum described bilateral ties between Qatar and Thailand in the past 37 years as “deep and special” due to the continuous efforts by both sides as evidenced by regular exchange of visits. 

He stressed: “On the economic front, the ongoing crisis does not deter Thailand from her strong determination to strengthen existing ties with Qatar.”

“Last year, the total volume of trade between our two countries stood at $2.73bn. For the past 10 months of this year (January-October), our two ways trade  has already reached $2.46bn. Qatar remains the biggest supplier of LNG to my country while export of food products from Thailand to Qatar has increased around 30 percent, and automobile parts around 10 percent respectively. We are optimistic that this year’s trade volume will surpass that of last year,” he said.

Thailand remains one of Qatar’s preferred destinations with last year’s tourist arrivals from Qatar exceeding 44,000.

“Apart from the issue of trade and investment, Thailand is well-known as the most famous tourist attraction and medical hub with high-quality healthcare and excellent services. Last year, over 33,000 Qatari and 11,000 expats in Qatar visited Thailand either for holiday or medical treatment,” said the envoy.

Qatar Airways will be launching a new service to Chiang Mai Province in the north of Thailand next week, and next month will add U-Tapao near Pattaya as its fifth destination, expanding its reach by having 60 flights weekly to Thailand. The ambassador concluded thanking the Qatari government on behalf of the Thai government for all its support to the Thai community. 

“On behalf of the Royal Thai Government and the Thai people living in the State of Qatar, to extend a heartfelt appreciation to His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Father Emir of the State of Qatar, 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. We stand ready to be part of the dynamic forces contributing to the development of Qatar and furthering friendly relationship between our two countries,” he said.

He also greeted Qatar ahead of the National Day celebration, wishing the State more success and prosperity.

Minister of Energy and Industry H E Dr Mohammed bin Saleh Al Sada and Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs H E Dr Ahmad Hassan Al Hamadi, were the guests of honour at the reception. Director of the Protocol Department Ambassador Ibrahim Yousif Abdullah Fakhroo,  Eritrean Ambassador Ali Ibrahim Ahmed, who is the Dean of the Diplomatic Corp, ambassadors of various embassies in Doha and the Thai community attended the event held at The St. Regis Doha.