German Foreign Office Minister of State Cornelia Pieper marked 150 years of diplomatic relations between Germany and Thailand during her Southeast Asian tour last month.
Thai Foreign Affairs Minister Surapong Towijakchaikul and German Ambassador Rolf Schulze were on hand for the Feb. 15 ceremony at the Foreign Ministry in Bangkok.
“This long-lasting friendship goes back to King Chulalongkorn, who paved the way for relations,” Pieper said. “He was the first Thai monarch who visited Germany in 1897 and once more in 1907.
Thailand’s Foreign Minister Dr. Surapong Towijakchaikul.
On his second trip, he spent one month in Bad Homburg and there he discovered a mineral spring which was later named after him. He also presented the town with a Thai-style pavilion that has graced the spa gardens ever since.”
Pieper noted that Germany has become an important trading partner for Thailand and had lent its expertise to the kingdom for building of railroads, postal and telegraph services, as well as medical research, architecture and library science.
“More than 500 German companies have settled in Thailand in sectors spanning chemicals to automobiles to environmental technology,” she said. Pieper also noted at the more than a half-million Germans visit the kingdom each year. Thais comprise about 10 percent of Asian visitors to Germany, she said.
State Minister Cornelia Pieper delivers her speech.
“We plan to continue cooperation between our universities and will give help in any way,” Pieper pledged, listing the humanitarian and technical help offered to the kingdom during last year’s flooding crisis.
“Now, on the occasion of this 150-year jubilee, we look back at our common achievements, but let us also look at the future consolidating the base of our shared relationships and friendship,” she said.
Following the celebration, Pieper met with Education Minister Suchart Thadathamrongvej and Culture Minister Sukumol Kunplome, as well as various German cultural, scientific and economic-cooperation groups.
(From right) German Ambassador Rolf Schulze, State Minister Cornelia Pieper and Petronella Schulze, the wife of the German ambassador at the reception.