• The two countries’ strong commitment in furthering our cooperation yielded six bilateral agreements.
• The agreements include cooperation in tourism, wildlife, trade, air service and public health.
Kenya is land of beauty from within, home to great wisdom and inspiration.
It is my first ambassadorial posting, where I am putting all of my heart into further fostering friendship between our two countries.
FIVE DECADES OF FRIENDSHIP
On July 25, 1967, Thailand and Kenya officially established diplomatic relations. Throughout the last 54 years, both countries have enjoyed robust and cordial ties based on equal partnership.
To date, our cooperation has expanded and prospered in many areas, from trade and investment, agriculture, tourism to public health and development cooperation.
Our strong cooperation is marked by regular high-level visits, promising trade and investment opportunities, commitment to South-South cooperation and increasing people to people contacts.
The official visit to Thailand by President Mwai Kibai in 2004 and the return visit to Kenya by the Thai Prime Minister in the following year, not to mention many other ministerial and senior officials visits, underline our closeness and amicable bonds.
The visit to Thailand by Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma in December 2019 just before the outbreak of Covid-19 is testimonial to the importance that Thailand holds for Kenya. It is during this visit that Thailand confirmed its support to Kenya’s UNSC candidature.
Bilateral Joint Commission Meeting at ministerial level set up in 2005 has played an instrumental role in providing an inclusive platform for both countries to review, monitor and shape up our cooperation in all areas.
The two countries’ strong commitment in furthering our cooperation yielded six bilateral agreements, which include cooperation in tourism, wildlife, trade, air service and public health.
GATEWAYS TO EAST AFRICA AND ASEAN
Thailand and Kenya recognise the importance of each other as the regional hubs for trade and investment, which forms a strong foundation for the constructive engagement between the two regions.
Thailand always regards Kenya as its gateway to East Africa, whereas we can serve as a gateway for Kenya to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and beyond.
Several initiatives have been taken by the Embassy of Thailand to deepen our economic ties. Many business delegations from Thailand have visited Kenya and had fruitful discussions with their counterparts in the past years. The sectors that Thailand focuses on include agro-business, food processing, fishery, autoparts as well as hospitality.
BIG FOUR AGENDA AND BIO-CIRCULAR-GREEN ECONOMIC MODEL
Thailand recognises the importance of Big Four agenda initiated by President Uhuru Kenyatta covering manufacturing, affordable housing, universal health coverage and food security.
In the spirit of friendship, Thailand thus renders its support to Kenya in capacity building in food security and health security, particularly universal health coverage.
Within the framework of the MoU on public health cooperation, the Ministry of Public Health of Thailand has been working closely with Kenyan counterpart in sharing our experiences in UHC by exchanging experts, providing training courses as well as granting post-graduation scholarships, with the support of the Thailand International Cooperation Agency.
The Embassy and the Thailand International Cooperation Agency, in collaboration with Kenya's Ministry of Agriculture, are working towards agriculture development in Kenya.
Thailand-Kenya Sustainable Agro-Technologies Development Centre at the Kenya School of Agriculture in Nyeri was launched on July 6. Through this centre, Thailand, as a champion of food producer and exporter, will share our best practices in food processing and value addition to agricultural products by applying Thailand’s Bio-Circular-Green Economic model, aiming to using natural resources more efficiently, reducing impact on environment and zero-waste.
In fact, the Thai government’s policy to promote BCG Economy is well linked with Kenya’s remarkable environmental policy.
Thailand and Kenya relations are moving beyond bilateral ties towards the goal that ensures the two countries support each other for the benefit and prosperity of both regions in the spirit of South-South cooperation.
The countries have been successfully elected to many treaty organisations and international institutions with the supports from each other. Thailand is committed to working closely with Kenya on global and regional security issues under the framework of the UNSC.
Looking back, I wish to commend the Kenyan government on her success in organising the High-Level Conference on Sustainable Blue Economy in Nairobi in 2018.
Thailand welcomes cooperation with Kenya to further promote environment-friendly blue economy through the sustainable harnessing of marine resources, within the framework of Indian Ocean Rim Association of which both Thailand and Kenya are active members.
All in all, the relations between our two countries are not just about rich culture and shared values but also about a future full of potentials.
Our decade-old and cordial ties are going strong. It is proven that our commitment to Kenya went beyond rhetoric. I look forward to continue working closely with my Kenyan friends of all sectors to ensure our relations remain robust and continue to positively contribute to the mutual benefits of our two countries and people.
I believe 2022, which marks the 55th Anniversary of our diplomatic relations, is another good year for Thailand and Kenya to elevate our relations to a higher plane.
Sasirit Tangulrat is the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand to the Republic of Kenya
Edited by EKibii