Speeches/Statements Speech by Ambassador Suchitra Durai at Logo Unveiling Ceremony on the occasion of 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations on 21.3.2022

Speech by Ambassador Suchitra Durai at Logo Unveiling Ceremony on the occasion of 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations on 21.3.2022

75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations
Logo Unveiling Ceremony on 21 March 2022
Remarks by Ambassador Suchitra Durai

Your Excellency Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, Mr. Don Pramudwinai;
Senator Air Chief Marshal Sujin Chamchoy, member of the Executive Committee of the Thailand India Friendship Group of the Thai Parliament;
Deputy Permanent Secretaries from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Culture;
Excellencies; Distinguished Guests;
Ladies and Gentlemen
Good Afternoon, Namaskar, Sawasdeekha !

1. Today, we are marking a milestone, that of the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Thailand. I deem it a singular honour to be present in Thailand at this juncture and a great privilege to speak on behalf of my Government, at this joint logo unveiling ceremony today, alongside H.E the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs. I wish to congratulate the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand and my colleagues in the Mission for organising this collaborative event to unveil the winning logo and to felicitate the winners of the logo design contest.

2. Indeed, Thailand was one of the first countries with which India established diplomatic relations as soon as India began independent on 15 August 1947. Today, as we gather here to unveil the winning logo design on the occasion of 75th anniversary of India-Thailand diplomatic relations, we also celebrate Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, marking 75th anniversary of India’s independence. Although our formal relationship is only 75 years young, it is our historical ties which date back to several millenia that provide the very foundation of our bilateral relationship. I can only recall the words of our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi who said this during the visit of Hon’ble Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha’s to India in 2016, and I quote, “From the Legend of Rama to the Wisdom of Buddha our ties are founded on a shared cultural heritage. Our historical people-to-people ties provide a strong basis to our partnership. Thailand is a trusted and valued friend”.

3. India and Thailand, located in each other’s extended neighbourhood with a common maritime boundary, share a unique civilizational heritage in terms of religious, linguistic and cultural ties. Since ancient times, sailors and traders from India and Thailand have been sailing across the Bay of Bengal between our two countries. Suvarnabhumi or ancient Thailand’s contact with Jambudweepa or India through trade led to the sharing of ideas, culture, language, architecture and other technologies between the two regions.

4. In the contemporary era, India’s ‘Look East’ and later ‘Act East’ policy and Thailand’s ‘Look West’ policy have provided the framework for enhancing our bilateral economic cooperation as well as enhancing our overall interaction in the new millennium. A Free Trade Framework Agreement has been implemented between our countries since 2004. Two way investments between India and Thailand has been on an upward trajectory in the last few years. We have a strong and vibrant Indian-origin community in Thailand, which has been a bridge between the two countries. Today, both countries have placed connectivity as a major policy priority. Currently, India and Thailand are cooperating closely on improving regional connectivity through initiatives such as the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway as well as port-to-port connectivity. Even as I speak, India is likely open up to commercial flights from 27 March, which means our air connectivity will reach its earlier heights. Indian tourists are eager to visit Thailand and we are ready to welcome Thai tourists to India.

5. Thailand is a key ASEAN state and the second largest economy in Southeast Asia. Thailand’s new economic model, including Thailand 4.0 and the recently launched Bio Circular Green economic model for inclusive and sustainable growth, provide new opportunities for partnership. Our bilateral engagement has the potential to foster growth not only restricted to the two countries but for the entire region.

6. Moving on to other aspects, as maritime neighbours, both India and Thailand face common security threats from emerging non-traditional challenges such as security of sea lanes of communication, piracy and other issues. We have a robust defence and security cooperation. Given the geographical location of our countries, we have a key role in shaping the Indo-Pacific strategy.

7. India envisages a free, open, inclusive, peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific, built on a rules-based order and with sustainable and transparent infrastructure investments. India's vision of the Indo-Pacific is positive, and inclusive of all nations in its geography and beyond who have a stake in it. ASEAN centrality and unity is an important element of the vision. Our vision is similar to the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific.

8. As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of our diplomatic relations, there is a strong desire on both sides to enhance the relationship by adding newer dimensions into our partnership. In recent times, our convergent visions was evident in the way in which the leadership of our two countries decided to jointly fight the COVID-19 pandemic through collective action. We extended our helping hands to each other when the Covid 19 pandemic posed challenges to our countries. Thailand helped India by facilitating expeditious transportation of liquid oxygen tanks and other oxygen related equipment to India and, during Thailand’s third wave, India extended support by donating oxygen concentrators and supplying essential medicines. The two Prime Ministers and Foreign Ministers have been having regular exchanges in this regard. India has also offered to supply Covid 19 vaccines to Thailand. I am pleased to share that just a while ago, India’s External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar had a telephonic conversation with H.E DPM Don.

9. The logo design contest was launched on 12 January this year as part of celebrations of the 75th anniversary of establishment of our diplomatic relations. We have witnessed an overwhelming response from the citizens in both the countries with around 700 logo design submissions. The creativity and energy reflected in these designs also reflects the vibrancy and warmth in our bilateral relations. I thank each and every participant for their interest and initiative. I take this opportunity to thank all the participants of this logo design contest.

10. As we celebrate this important occasion, we are planning other events including academic and cultural exchanges. In the last two days, we had a fantastic programme based on MekongGanga cooperation in collaboration with the Ubon Ratchathani university, which has a newly established and most dynamic India Studies Group. We hope to have the continued support and engagement of the Thai people, particularly the younger generation, in our outreach programmes so that our two peoples find our partnership mutually beneficial and we can contribute to global peace, progress and harmony.

Thank you, Dhanyavaad,

Kob khun kha