On the 3rd October 2014, Community leaders and socialites from Pattaya and Bangkok celebrated the grand opening of the new Swedish consulate in Pattaya at the Dusit Thani Hotel.
The event was presided over by the Swedish Ambassador H.E. Klas Molin.
In his opening speech, the Ambassador congratulated Mr. Chatchawal Supachayanont, the General Manager of Dusit Thani Pattaya, who took over as the new Swedish consul of Pattaya office in June 2014, replacing Dr. Sunya Viravaidya, who served in the same position at the Sugar Hut Resort for 10 years.
His Excellency thanked the dignitaries and all the guests for attending the event, and gave a short history of Swedish consuls in Thailand.
“The first consulate in Pattaya was established in October 1993, while the very first consulate that Sweden opened in Thailand was in Chiang Mai 23 years ago. Swedish Embassy in Bangkok also handles consular issues from the Philippines, Myanmar and Laos.”
Swedish Ambassador, His Excellency Klas Molin addresses the gathering.
“It’s a wonderful location here at the Dusit Thani, it’s new, modern, and very appropriate for Pattaya,” he said in an interview with Pattaya Mail.
“Before I came here three years ago I was director-general for Asia and the Pacific in the foreign ministry in Sweden, so I had a wide responsibility geographically and functionally for all our relations with Asia and the Pacific. This is my second tour of Thailand as I served here 25 years ago and I love being here.”
H.E. Dr Sunya Viravaidya speaks fondly of the Swedes and his ten years as Honorary Swedish Consul.
“Bilateral relations are excellent and frequent high-level bilateral visits have taken place over the past years. A new Joint Plan of Action was signed in Sweden on March 4, 2013 focusing on economy, trade and people-to-people activities. More than 20,000 Thai citizens are living in Sweden and closer to half a million Swedes are coming to Thailand as tourists every year while around 10,000 Swedes stays in Thailand permanently.”
H.E. Chatchawal Supachayanont the new consul pledges to look after the interests of Swedish nationals under his jurisdiction.
Molin said Swedes using the consulate have various needs. “We have people who have been living here for a long time but they are still Swedish citizens and maybe receiving a Swedish pension from home. They need certification that they are indeed alive and keeping well and the consulate helps them with that by meeting with them to stamp and approve those certificates.” he said.
“Sweden just held elections, something very important to every Swede, so the consulate was open and served as a polling station. We had almost 90 percent participating in the election in September.”
His Excellency Klas Molin bestows the Order of the Polar Star on Dr Sunya.
The consulate in Pattaya not only assists Swedish citizens and visitors in the region, but also Thai citizens who want information about Sweden.
“On the whole, people enjoy it, or they wouldn’t come back,” Molin said of Pattaya. “The city is larger than the surrounding areas and people settle here for a good part of the year and sometimes the whole year.
“I am aware that there is a move to facilitate a way of looking at business practices that have perhaps previously been problematic for some tourists, and to have more transparency in business practices and clearer rules, etc. That is something to be welcomed,” he said. “Safety and security are paramount to us so I compliment the authorities on the very close relationship we have with the Royal Thai Police and authorities of all kinds here. This is very important in assuring that our citizens are treated well and that they can get the assistance they need and expect.”
Molin said business issues also are a focus on the embassy and its consulates.
The three honourable gentlemen raise their glasses in a toast to H.M. King Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden and HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand.
“Traditionally, we have a very good and active business community, with large investments for the last 100 years. One of the first and largest to establish here, originally in sales then later in investment, was Ericson, a well-known telecom company. Since then many companies have followed suit, all the big household names, but they are very happy to be here in manufacturing, assembly, and exports,” he said.
“Thailand has also emerged as a competitor and is moving successfully in many areas, with added value, more services and skilled workers. Uncertainty is never good for business and Swedish companies in Thailand are no exception to that rule. So knowing as much as you can expect to know about development is important. Legal framework, rule of law, etc., But that is the story of Thailand historically and traditionally and, at times, there are difficulties, but they have always been overcome and that is why companies are still here.”
Sue Kukarja (PMTV), Kate Gerits (Holiday Inn Pattaya), Ploy and Rene Pisters (Thai Garden Resort) enjoy the evening.
Chatchawal Supachayanonont accepted his new position with a humble speech saying that the appointment has given him personal privilege to be able to serve the local Swedish community as well as the Swedish companies whilst fostering friendship and promoting both royal nations to those who wish to visit and see for themselves the beauty and magnificence that Thailand and Sweden are renowned for the world over.
Les Nyerges and Raine Grady (Capital TV) meet up with Peter Malhotra (Pattaya Mail Media Group).
He said Pattaya itself has been selected by many Swedes as their second home or a place where they can set up their own businesses and for those that are here on a holiday. The city has now evolved into a place that has more to offer, thanks to the tireless efforts of Pattaya officials in making sure that its newly added attractions cater not only to our leisure visitors but also to the family holidaymakers and business entrepreneurs.
On the same occasion, Dr. Sunya Viravaidya was awarded the Order of the Polar Star by Ambassador Klas Molin on behalf of H.M. King Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden and the Royal Swedish Government for his dedicated service as the Swedish consul in Pattaya for the past ten years.
Alisa Phanthusak (Tiffany’s Show), Sue Kukarja (PMTV) and Vanjie Lauzon (Dusit Thani Pattaya) enhance the evening’s festivities with their beauty.
In his acceptance speech, Dr. Sunya expressed his gratitude for this honor and said it had been not just a privilege but also educational and a pleasure, as for ten years in the position of honorary consul, he had come to know three Swedish ambassadors, several embassy staff, and traveled to many parts of Sweden.
Dr Sunya pointed out some similarities between Thailand and Sweden, especially that both have royal families, and the opposites that attract, such as climates.
David Shackleton (right), COO of Dusit International was on hand to congratulate H.E. Chatchawal.
“Socially, Swedes are polite, low key, and friendly. They are humble yet confident, sensible, educated, and with a dry sense of humor. Professionally, they are focused, hardworking, competitive, and sincere. They are democratic and committed to doing the right thing,” he said.
It is a very advance society that Thais can learn a lot from especially today when we are looking for change and the right way to the future.”
The Consulate opens Monday – Friday 0900 – 1200.
Services include passport applications, certificates and application for driving licenses. Visa applications will be obtainable; however, all Schengen visa applications must be submitted in person to the Embassy in Bangkok.
+66-(0)2-263 72 99 (after working hours)
Email: [email protected]
(l-r) Consul Chatchawal, Jan Bertil Eriksson and Ambassador Molin.
H.E. Chatchawal (5th right) is congratulated by his friends and colleagues from all segments of the business community.
Consul Chatchawal greets John A. Haerum, a Norwegian long term resident of Pattaya.
Mr Phallop Thaiarry (left), MD Avis Thailand and Viktor Sukseree, GM of Dusit Thani Hua Hin.
(l-r) Anna Stenberg, Maria Wennerstrom, Lars Ryderstad, Birgitta Wennberg and Bo Wennberg.
(l-r) Nopporn Kanchanamanee ,Thai Airways International, Pattaya, Srisodsai Sukavut and Vajaravudh Victor Sukseree, Swedish Honorary Consul in Hua Hin
A proud moment for the entire family, Chatchawal’s brother Thongchai (left) and sister Jira (right) attended this memorable evening.
(l-r) Erik Roos, Ragnvald Seierstad (Sjomannsprest Pattaya) and Bjorn Wennerstrom (Church of Sweden Bangkok).
Respected long resident of Pattaya Ulla Dohlon assisted by her daughter the charming Inga Dohlan arrive for the reception.
(l-r) Dr. Hakan Alm (AIP International University, Bangkok) Sue Kukarja (PMTV), Anders Lundquist (Pacific 2000 International Recruitments), Viyada (Victoria) Tannawee (Pacific 2000 Siracha), Jan Eriksson (President of Thai-Swedish Chamber of Commerce) and Christopher Berg.
(l-r) Pol.Lt.Col. Arun Promphan, Superintendent of Pattaya’s Tourist Police, Chaowalit Sang-Utai, Permanant Secretary of Chonburi Province and Rattanachai Suthidechanai , President of Tourism and Culture Committee at Pattaya City Hall.
Khunying Songsuda and Dr. Suvit Yodmanee congratulate the new Honorary Consul Chatchawal.
(l-r) Janya Rattanaliam, (Bangkok Pattaya Hospital), Hakan Wallenions (Owne Thailands Posten), Fredrik Juuso (BHP), Liisa -Maija Weckman (BHP) and Pedrenelle Maniquiz (BHP).