Thai Ambassador to Singapore, H.E. Mr Chutintorn Gongsakdi and wife Ms M.L. Piyawan Gongsakdi

The Ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand to Singapore, H.E. Chutintorn Gongsakdi, in a conversation with Editor-in-Chief Nomita Dhar sheds light on his distinguished career as a diplomat and the thriving bilateral relations between Thailand and Singapore

AS a seasoned diplomat, could you share some insights into the challenges and rewards of your work in strengthening Thailand’s diplomatic ties with other nations, and what have you learned from your experiences?
Diplomacy is both challenging and rewarding. It requires patience, negotiation skills and adaptability. The reward lies in building bridges between nations and fostering cooperation. From my experiences, I’ve learned the importance of dialogue, understanding different cultures and the potential for diplomacy to bring positive change to the world. It’s been a lifelong journey of growth and learning.

(Top): Thai Embassy and the original Hurricane House has a long history with Singapore that goes back to the 1890s

The Royal Thai Embassy is located in the heart of Singapore. Could you share more about the origins of the embassy?
Yes indeed, the location of our Embassy is very central and it does belong to us. Originally it was called “Hurricane House”. In the location of the1890s it was bought by Siamese King Rama V (1868 – 1910), HRH used it as his residence during his visits to Singapore. HRH bought it in 1897.

In 2013 it was rebuilt to what you see today and now we have four new blocks which are – Pavilion, Embassy building,
visa section and the Ambassador’s residence where we welcome guests often and engage them with Thai hospitality and culture.

Ambassador you presented your credentials in 2022, what was your takeaway and learning?
Singapore’s approach to planning and its vision for the future are commendable. It influences our bilateral relations positively as we collaborate in various sectors. Singapore’s strategic planning aligns with our mutual goals, particularly in economic cooperation and regional development, making our partnership even stronger.

An important aspect of Thailand-Singapore partnership is your collaboration in the defence sector?
Yes, there are regular high-level visits, cross-attendance of courses, and professional exchanges that have fostered mutual understanding and close friendships among personnel from both Armed Forces. During my term, prestigious military awards were conferred to Thailand’s military leaders.

How has your Embassy been engaging with Singaporeans?
We have been holding events like the Thai Festivval 2022, Orchid Extravaganza 2023 and Mid-Autumn Festival, which serve as vibrant showcases of Thai culture in Singapore. These events are cultural bridges that connect our nations. They celebrate the diversity and beauty of Thai culture while fostering understanding and friendship. Through collaborations with Gardens by the Bay, we highlight shared cultural heritage and the importance of preserving it. The recognition of Kebaya as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage nomination exemplifies our commitment to this shared heritage.

Thailand Week 2023 is a testament to our cultural richness and ability to blend tradition with modernity. It provides a platform for cultural diplomacy and showcases our vibrant heritage. The celebration of Muay Thai not only highlights its physical prowess but also its cultural significance, reinforcing Thailand’s soft power on the global stage.

Please tell us more about Thailand’s promotion of sustainable tourism, including initiatives like the “Drive of the Year 2023?
Sustainable tourism is vital in preserving Thailand’s natural splendour. Collaborative initiatives like the “Drive of the Year 2023” demonstrate our commitment to sustainable practices.

By showcasing Thailand’s captivating landscapes and fostering collaboration with Singapore, we not only promote eco-friendly tourism but also strengthen the bond between our nations.

How does The Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) contribute to Thailand’s development and regional economic integration?
The EEC is pivotal in Thailand’s economic transformation. Its strategic location and comprehensive development plan align with Thailand 4.0, making it a regional economic hub.

Thank you your Excellency for sharing your valuable time and thoughts with our readers. We wish you all the best for the next phase of your life.


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