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Thai Consulate General celebrates 27 years of presence in HCMC
The Saigon Times Daily
Wednesday,  Feb 26, 2020,12:43 (GMT+7)

Thai Consulate General celebrates 27 years of presence in HCMC

The Saigon Times Daily

Royal Thai Consulate General’s staff and guests pose for a group photo at the event - PHOTO: COURTESY OF ROYAL THAI CONSULATE GENERAL IN HCMC

HCMC - The Royal Thai Consulate General in HCMC held an internal celebration on February 23 to mark 27 years of presence in HCMC.

The event took place at the compound of the 60-plus-year-old Art Deco buildings at 77 Tran Quoc Thao Street in District 3, the location of the consulate.

It began with a flag-raising ceremony, followed by Buddhist religious rite and a communal lunch.

The event was attended by the Consulate General staff, officers of Thai agencies in HCMC, Thai and Vietnamese Buddhist monks, representatives of the Thai Business Association, and some members of the Thai community in the city.

“I am the ninth Consul General of Thailand here. It is meaningful to me as the event was held close to my own first anniversary of arrival in HCMC to assume my mandate as a Thai Consul General, on February 15, 2019. Had it not been for the Covid-19 situation, I would have organized a bigger gathering, to also express my thanks to all friends here who have kindly supported me and the works of the Consulate General,”Apirat Sugondhabhirom, Consul General of Thailand to HCMC, said at the event.

The Thai Government opened the Royal Thai Consulate General in HCMC in 1992, many years after the opening of the Royal Thai Embassy in Hanoi in 1978 and the establishment of diplomatic relations between Thailand and Vietnam in 1976.

In the beginning, the Thai Government used some rooms in the Rex Hotel in District 1 as temporary office while renovation works were going on at the present building of the Consulate General, which was the former Embassy of Thailand in Saigon before 1975.

After successful negotiations between the two governments, in 1993 the Thai Consulate General moved into its present premises.

On February 23, 1993, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand, during her first official visit to Vietnam, presided over the opening ceremony of the renovated consulate building, and the Thai national flag was raised at the current premises for the first time after 18 years, signifying the formal inauguration of the office of the Consulate General.

She also planted a tropical cherry tree in the backyard, which still stands today, and a sapling of which was presented by the Consulate General to the HCMC University of Social Sciences and Humanities - Thu Duc Campus last December as a contribution to the Thai Garden at the university.

The opening of the Royal Thai Consulate General, with jurisdiction covering 22 provinces and cities in central and southern Vietnam, was one of the milestones of Thailand-Vietnam friendship.

“Since 1993 we have seen rapid growth of the Vietnamese economy and the greater interest of Thai businesses in trading with and investing in Vietnam, thus a lot of Thai companies have come to make HCMC their second home,” said Consul General Apirat Sugondhabhirom.

People-to-people ties are also in bloom, with exchanges and visits of public administrators, scholars, youths, students, cultural troupes, start-up entrepreneurs, and tourists.

“I am certain that the strong friendship between HCMC and Thailand, based on the foundation laid decades ago and fostered by enthusiasm of both sides, shall continue to grow, like the blossoming cherry tree that was planted by a princess of Thailand in our office, in beautiful HCMC,” Apirat Sugondhabhirom said.

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