German President visits Vietnam and Thailand

Following his visit to Vietnam, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier embarked on a 3-day visit to Thailand, marking the first visit of Germany´s Head of State to the Kingdom in over two decades. The trip is focuses on trade, investment, and tourism. During his stay in Bangkok, President Steinmeier had the honour of receiving a royal audience with His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn and Her Majesty Queen Sutthida at the Amphorn Sathan Residential Hall in Dusit Palace. Germany and Thailand enjoy 162-year-old diplomatic relations.

Thailand has long had a collaborative relationship with Germany, making the latter the largest trade partner within the European Union (EU). The two countries had bilateral trade worth of 14 billion euros last year, with over 600 German companies operating in Thailand. President Steinmeier´s visit signifies a renewal of commitment to work towards mutual prosperity and cooperation.

In the course of discussions with Thailand’s Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, President Steinmeier conveyed Germany”s wish to work with Thailand in the realm of renewable energy. Germany is set to cooperate, aiming to contribute to increasing Thailand electricity production from renewables by 50% by the year 2040. Furthermore, Germany is set to expand its investment in Thailand’s electric vehicle (EV) industry, positioning the nation as a prominent hub for EV manufacturing in the region.

In alignment with Thailand’s Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s vision for a sustainable future, Germany is actively supporting Thailand’s efforts in sustainable farming. This collaboration is aimed not only at addressing environmental concerns by reducing greenhouse gases, but it also contributes to tackling the prevalent PM2.5 haze pollution issue. In addition, Germany expresses keen interest in bolstering Thailand’s environmental sustainability by investing in recycling initiatives and the production of plastic pellets from plastic waste.

At a reception at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Bangkok, President Steinmeier briefly met with the Heads of the German Political Foundations in Thailand, including Mr. Moritz Kleine-Brockhoff, Head of the Regional Office Southeast and East Asia of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) Regional Head, and Mrs. Vanessa Steinmetz, Head of FNF Thailand.

*Sky Chatuchinda is the Regional Communication Officer Southeast and East Asia at the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom in Bangkok, Thailand.

 

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