Press Releases : The 5th Senior Officials Meeting between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand And the Department of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa

On 25 January 2017, Mr. Panyarak Poolthup, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, co-chaired the 5th Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand and the Department of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa, with Professor Dr. Anil Sooklal, Deputy Director-General of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa and head of the South African delegation, at Dusit Thani Hotel. The meeting was attended by Mr. Krerkpan Roekchamnong, Director-General of the Department of South Asian, Middle East and African Affairs, and representatives from the Department of International Economics, the Department of Consular Affairs, and Thailand International Cooperation Agency (TICA).

In the meeting, both sides exchanged views on several aspects of Thailand – South Africa bilateral relations covering areas of politics, economy, trade, investment and tourism. The meeting also followed up on pending bilateral agreements whereby both sides agreed to expedite the process. Currently, South Africa is Thailand’s number one trading partner in Africa while Thailand is

South Africa’s number one trading partner in ASEAN.

Furthermore, both sides exchanged views on a number of cooperation in multilateral frameworks in which Thailand and South Africa play significant roles, for example, Thailand’s role as the Chair of G77 where Thailand pushes forward the principles of Sufficiency Economy Philosophy (SEP), Thailand’s chairmanship of Foreign Policy and Global Health, as well as Thailand’s Universal Health Coverage, a successful health coverage scheme commended by the World Health Organization (WHO) which has been a model for many countries.

The meeting also discussed significant developments within ASEAN and on the African continent, including developments in the South African Development Community (SADC), the African Union (AU), BRICS and the G20, in which South Africa is an active member.

The Thai side also updated its South African counterpart on progress of Thailand’s political situation while reaffirming the government’s commitment to move the country forward according to the Roadmap. Adhering to international obligations, Thailand stands ready to cooperate and further expand bilateral relations with South Africa in all dimensions based on mutual benefits. In addition, both sides agreed to organize meaningful activities to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Thailand and South Africa in 2018. The activities to be held throughout the year in 2018 are, for example, academic seminars/forum, trade and investment promotion activities, and exchanges of cultural performances.

The next Thailand – South Africa Senior Officials Meeting hosted by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa will be held during the first quarter of 2018 in South Africa.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of Thailand

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