05.12.2011 - 09.12.2011 25 °C
In this ever changing world, Thailand’s strategic partners are changing. Thailand’s ties with Russia continue to develop and trade is forever growing between the two great nations.
The History between Thailand & Russia
The visit of King Chulalongkorn to Russia and his meeting with Emperor Nikolas II in 1897, resulted in the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries. Next year will be the 115th anniversary of this event. In 1863 the first Russian navy ship anchored at Siam. Tsesarevich (Crown Prince) Nikolas visited Siam and met King Chulalongkorn for the first time in 1891.
More evidence of a close historical bond between the two countries is the fact that King Chulalongkorn’s son Prince Chakrapong graduated from the General Staff’s Military Academy of the Russian Army. The prince was also married to a Russian lady, Ekaterina Desnitskaya.
Many people may not know that the music for the Thai Royal Anthem was written by Russian composer Peter Shchurovsky.
In modern times a significant bilateral event was the state visit, by the invitation of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, of Vladimir Putin to Thailand in 2003, when he participated in the APEC Summit in Bangkok and conducted negotiations with the Thai government. A reciprocal visit was paid by Her Majesty Queen Sirikit on behalf of His Majesty the King in 2007.
Increasing Numbers of Russian Tourists to Thailand
Tourism is of special importance. About 300,000 tourists from Russia visited Thailand in 2009. Last year the number exceeded 600,000. This figure is expected to rise this year.
According to Thai immigration there are tens of thousands of Russians living in Thailand on a more or less permanent basis. There are Russian consuls in Pattaya and Phuket which provide support for any Russian tourists.
Thailand is the largest trade partner of Russia among ASEAN countries. Last year bilateral trade reached a record level of four billion USD. Russia is a big importer of Thai rice, seafood, fruits, automobile parts, and Thailand is interested in Russian oil and metal products.
In the investment sphere, the Thai company CPF actively operates in Russia in building feed mills and swine farms. These projects now total around 50 million USD. This number will continue to be developed. There is a goal to increase the volume of bilateral trade up to six billion USD in the next few years.
Russia is the largest country in the world, situated across both the European and Asian continents. And two thirds of their territory is in Asia. As a result there is massive room for expansion of Thai business interests in Russia. The number of Russian tourists is also expected to rise over the next five years, but probably not at the rates of the last few years. There are also plans to work together in the fields of science and technology, energy, outer space, agriculture, culture and education. Exciting times for both countries!!
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