The Ambassador: Singapore is a “fountain of knowledge” for Thailand
Describing Singapore as a “fountain of knowledge”, His Excellency Chutintorn Gongsakdi, the Ambassador of Thailand to Singapore, said that this is an opportunity for Thailand to learn from its neighbour and to cooperate with Singapore a lot more.
“We’re lucky that Singapore and Thailand have excellent relations, everything is on the highest possible level. With the improvement in the COVID-19 situation, we’ve had a lot of visits, both at the governmental and civil service levels.”
Having strong relations in numerous areas already, from politics, economy, and social issues, he hopes to cooperate more on e-commerce, as it is a growing industry in both countries and in the ASEAN region.
“One of the areas on which we hope to work together is the e-commerce market and how we can make that more seamless between the two countries, making it a single market and then go beyond to neighbouring countries and so on, because Thailand is a very important e-commerce market in the region and Singapore is very much involved in Thailand. So we hope to standardise payments, information protection, prevention of scams, and so on.”
His Excellency said that Thailand has always been on Singapore’s radar when it comes to tourism, as many Singaporeans like the Thai culture and Thai food, as well as convenience and value for money when travelling. With up to a million Singaporean visitors to Thailand per year, prior to the pandemic, he hopes that bilateral tourism between will increase, especially as the COVID-19 situation is improving.
To promote Thai culture further, the Royal Thai Embassy in Singapore will be hosting a Thai boxing festival this year, and plans the return of the Thai festival next year, after having been unable to hold the popular events during the pandemic.
On bigger issues, such as the political situation in Myanmar, and as Singapore and Thailand are both ASEAN member countries, his excellency said that they hope that they will be able to find the best solution to the ongoing conflicts.
“However, the solutions for Myanmar have to address all of the needs of all of the people in Myanmar, but everyone is hoping to move towards an election that is free and fair and has the participation of all interested parties there, all races and groups. Thailand, being next door to Myanmar, understands how important peace in Myanmar is to us.”
As for further cooperation between Thailand and Singapore, His Excellency Chutintorn hopes that an agreement on the renewable energy deal between the two countries will be finalised in a near future, as Singapore would like to secure supply from Thailand.
Most importantly, he also wants Thailand to have a digital economy partnership agreement with Singapore, as he strongly believes that it will solidify the digital future between both countries.
“Singapore and Thailand are closer than people realise. So, I’d like us to become closer in all respects. We are truly brothers, and Thailand is in the hearts of most Singaporeans I meet.”
By Nad Bunnag, Thai PBS World