His Excellency Mr. Teera Slukpetch, Minister of Culture of Thailand
His Excellency Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita
His Excellency Enrique Manalo, Undersecretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs
His Excellency Conrado Escudero
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen
I wish to extend my warm felicitations to the Thai community, our Filipino friends and distinguished fellows, ?Friends of Thailand? and ?Friends of the Philippines?? gathering here tonight as the Royal Thai Embassy in Manila celebrates the 60th Anniversary of Thai-Philippine Diplomatic Relations.
First, let me tell you how this event came about. At the Joint Commission Meeting between our two countries, held in Bangkok on 23rd of March 2007, the two foreign ministers, H.E. Alberto Romulo and H.E. Nit Pibulsongram, the Thai Foreign Minister at that time, agreed to jointly celebrate the 60th Anniversary of our Diplomatic Relations which falls on the 14th of June 2009.
As from the beginning of 2009, the Royal Thai Embassy has organized several activities to highlight the celebration of the 60th Anniversary of our Diplomatic Relations as follows:
The Royal Thai Embassy has organized a goodwill trip of Philippine Honourary Consuls to Thailand in February wherein they were graciously received by the Thai Foreign Minister. During their fruitful meeting, discussions on Thai politics and future plans on further strengthening our good and active relations took place.
Secondly, the Embassy, with the support of His Excellency Mayor Alfredo Lim, organized the puppet theatre show in February at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila
Thirdly, the Embassy, again with the usual kind cooperation of Mayor Lim, restored and jointly opened the Philippine-Thailand Friendship Circle in Sta. Ana, Manila
Fourthly, the Royal Thai Embassy, with the support of the Royal Thai Navy organized the goodwill and friendship trip of two training ships, HTMS Bangpakong and Taksin, consisting of 600 Thai Navy cadets to visit the Philippines in April
Fifthly, the Thai Embassy cooperated with the Philippine Air Force to organize the Thai traditional New Year or Songkran Festival wherein the musical play ?Mama Mia? was staged in April
Sixthly, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand collaborated with the Thai National Archives, Royal Household and Siam Cement Group to compile the history book? on the 60th Anniversary of our Diplomatic Relations
Lastly, the Royal Thai Embassy fully supports the Thai Post and Phil Post offices in launching the Commemorative Stamp on the 60th Anniversary of our Diplomatic Relations to further promote people to people contacts
Today we have our Minister of Culture who graciously came and participated in our event, together with the Department of Public relations and several departments concerned, such as the Thai National Archives, Royal Household and may Thai private sectors, as well as the former Thai Ambassadors and Defense Attaches to the Philippines, their esteemed presence show valuable support to this momentous event.
This morning?s activities, co-hosted by the City of Manila to mark the 60th Anniversary of Thai-Philippine Diplomatic Relations by a wreathlaying ceremony at the Rizal monument followed by a friendship walk at the Luneta Park? and Opening Ceremonies of our 60th Diplomatic Relations spearheaded by our Minister of Culture and Mayor Lim. Highlighted by a cultural dance performance and the world-renowned Puppet Theatre Joe Luis as well as a Muay Thai competition ?Battle of the Best.? Later this afternoon, we organized the signing ceremony of the Executive Program for Cultural Cooperation and launching of the Commemorative Stamps as well as the commemorative book of our 60th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations. The success of all these activities is because of the generous support and kind cooperation of His Excellency Manila City Mayor Alfredo Lim.
At this juncture,? I would like to express my deep appreciation and pay tribute to the former Thai Ambassadors and our Military Attaches to the Philippines as well as the former Ambassadors of the Philippines to Thailand gathering here tonight and other high profile personalities of both sides, whose unwavering dedication in their work have produced mutual gains to our flourishing and dynamic relations.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Philippines has become our major partner in regional and international for a. We share the privilege of being co-founders and active members of SEATO and ASEAN. Over the years we have continuously worked together to strengthen our partnership bilaterally, regionally and internationally.
In our economic partnership, nowadays we can see continuing progress through mutual investments and economic ties. More than ever, Thailand warmly welcomes the Philippines? presence in Thailand, particularly in the field of tourism. On Thailand?s side, I am proud to say that our investments provide quality local employment and practice corporate social responsibility benefiting local communities.
As we enter a milestone in our diplomatic relations, Thailand and the Philippines have long-standing ties as we share a deep? and dynamic friendship anchored on many common values. During my tenure as Thai Ambassador to the Philippines, kindly be assured that I will do my best and I will dedicate all my efforts to achieve prosperity in our two countries? relations encompassing all sectors.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am confident that the 60th Anniversary of our diplomatic relations will serve as a unique opportunity for both Thai and Philippine communities to look back with great pride at what we have achieved together.
Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
On this special occasion, may I propose a toast to the everlasting friendly relations between the people of Thailand and the Republic of the Philippines. Mabuhay!