On 11 - 14 February 2020 H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, paid official visits to Luxembourg and the United Kingdom.
During the visit to Luxembourg, the Foreign Minister held a bilateral meeting with H.E. Mr. Jean Asselborn, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Luxembourg on 11 February 2020. The Foreign Minister of Luxembourg took this opportunity to express deepest condolences with regard to the recent shooting in Nakhon Ratchasima. The two Foreign Ministers applauded the longstanding bond of friendship of the Royal Families of Thailand and Luxembourg which has been the strong foundation of the bilateral relationship. The two sides noted with satisfaction a significant increase in the momentum of key areas of bilateral cooperation, particularly, trade and investment, logistics, financial and trilateral cooperation. The two Ministers recognized the significance of both countries as the essential gateways to respective regions. In this connection, the Luxembourg side was encouraged to explore investment opportunities in logistics in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) project. The Thai side commended the dynamism of cooperation in the area of finance as an achievement of Luxembourg’s financial diplomacy, and expressed the hope to learn from Luxembourg’s expertise in the areas of financial eco-system, green bond and sustainable finance. With a view to further strengthening the bilateral relations, both sides emphasized the need to raise the visibility and awareness of potential opportunities abound in both countries. To this end, Luxembourg confirmed the plans to organize ASEAN Day and to lead a business delegation to Thailand by the end of this year. On regional and multilateral issues, the Luxembourg side congratulated Thailand for the successful year as ASEAN Chair, whereby Thailand sought Luxembourg’s support in the EU framework, particularly, with regard to the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) and Thai-EU FTA. The two Foreign Ministers also exchanged views on various topics, including the latest update on COVID-19, Brexit and Belt and Road Initiative. Given the shared values on the principle of rules based multilateral system, the two Foreign Ministers believed this would provide a strong basis for the two countries' regional and multilateral cooperation for promoting peace and security, and sustainability. The two Ministers reaffirmed the determination to continue working closely to build on the sixty years of Thailand-Luxembourg relations for the mutual benefits of the two countries and peoples.
During the visit to the United Kingdom, the Foreign Minister held a bilateral meeting with The Right Honourable Dominic Raab, British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on 13 February 2020. The visit to the UK was another important milestone in the bilateral relations, as this year marks the 165th Anniversary of Thailand-UK diplomatic relations, while 1 February 2020 marks the official beginning of Brexit. Both sides reaffirmed the intention to forge closer ties as natural partners under the UK’s Global Britain Policy, and the UK side was assured of Thailand’s continuous support for her constructive engagement in ASEAN and the region. The meeting reflected the resolves of both sides to consolidate and enhance the Strategic Partnership in potential areas that correspond to the needs and strengths of the two countries notably, trade and investment, education, and people-to-people relations. The two Foreign Ministers also recognised the need to formalize a free trade negotiation to maintain economic dynamism of the two countries in the post-Brexit process, and to encourage close coordination between private sectors. On this occasion, the UK Foreign Minister sought Thailand’s support for the UK’s role as the incoming president of the COP26 to be held in Glasgow in November 2020, to which the Thai side expressed full support and reaffirmed Thailand’s commitment for sustainable development on climate change under the Paris Agreement.
Later that day, the Foreign Minister held a meeting with Mr. Kitack Lim, Secretary General of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) whereby IMO Secretary General expressed appreciation for Thailand’s constructive role in the regional maritime cooperation which supports the IMO’s objectives. Thailand reaffirmed the readiness to play an active role in promoting maritime cooperation related to SDGs and bridging the partnership between the IMO and regional bodies, such as UNESCAP and ASEAN.
The Foreign Minister also had the opportunity to meet with Sir Graham Brady, Chairman of the UK All-Parliamentary Party Group (APPG) for Thailand whereby the Foreign Minister expressed appreciation for the UK APPG – Thailand for its continuous role in connecting the legislative networks, thus help enriching friendship between the two countries.
This visit of the Foreign Minister was successfully concluded, achieving the objective of enhancing bilateral relations with Luxembourg, as an active member of the EU, and the United Kingdom, as it now officially departed the bloc. To this, the Foreign Minister reiterated the wish for both the EU and the UK to continue to play constructive roles on the international stage, and remain strong partners of Thailand and ASEAN in promoting peace, stability and sustainability in respective regions and beyond.