German Foreign Minister toasts 150 years of diplomatic relations at chamber gala

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Thai and German politicians continued to commemorate 150 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle appearing at a 50th anniversary celebration for the German-Thai Chamber of Commerce.

Industry Minister Pongsavas Svasti represented the Thai government at the April 28 gala at the St. Regis Hotel in Bangkok. Guests were treated to a champagne reception, five-course meal and performance from the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra.

Karl Heinz Heckhausen welcomes people to the gala event.Karl Heinz Heckhausen welcomes people to the gala event.

Chamber President Karl Heinz Heckhausen welcomed the guests, which included German Ambassador Rolf Schulze, new chamber director Jörg Buck, and Sen. Jetn Siratharanont.

Pongsavas detailed the friendship and diplomatic relations between both countries and pointed out that Germany has always been one of the most important partners in all sectors, particularly technology and culture. He expressed hope that relations will grow further over the next 150 years.

“Many Thais live in Germany and have their business there. Many Germans live in Thailand and found their new homes here,” Pongsavas said. “Many German companies have been established and the German high-quality work is well known everywhere. These two anniversaries are remarkable milestones for both our countries.”

Westerwelle said, “The friendship between our two countries is based on strong common values. It is an all-embracing partnership connecting both our countries. Both Thailand and Germany determinedly believe in freedom, democracy and the rule of law. Both countries also cooperate closely together in the fields of economics, culture and education. The exchange between our schools and universities is very vivid.”

The minister said about 1,000 Thai students live in Germany and said officials would be happy to host more. At the same time, 600 German companies have invested in Thailand, he said.

Westerwelle thanked Heckhausen and Pracha Chivapornthip for their commitment to the chamber.

Industry Minister Pongsvas Svasti.Industry Minister Pongsvas Svasti.

Foreign Minister Westerwelle delivers his speech.Foreign Minister Westerwelle delivers his speech.

Dr. Volker Treier congratulates the chamber.Dr. Volker Treier congratulates the chamber.

Germany’s Ambassador Rolf Schulze and wife Petronella.Germany’s Ambassador Rolf Schulze and wife Petronella.