Dear Khmer Time Readers,
On 5 December Thai people celebrate the Birthday Anniversary of HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great, National Father’s Day, and National Day of Thailand.
We are grateful for the love and devotion His Majesty had for the Thai people during His 70-year reign. His Majesty had guided Thailand through numerous challenges on a path towards sustainable development, so much so that His Majesty became known as “Development King”. His wisdom had brought better livelihood to Thai citizens, and was even recognised worldwide from His work on sustainable management of soil resources as the United Nations designated 5 December, His Majesty’s Birthday Anniversary, as World Soil Day.
This year we also celebrate a remarkable milestone in the friendship between Thailand and Cambodia. It was 70 years ago that the two nations established diplomatic relations. By doing so, Thailand was the first country in Asia, and one of the first in the world, to recognise Cambodia as an independent nation.
Since then, our relations have grown deep and wide. We have seen over 800 kilometers of shared land border develop into peaceful and prosperous trading towns.
We have growing trade volumes, with over USD 6 billion worth of trade between the two countries from January to October 2020.
We have over USD 1 billion worth of investment from Thai investors, ensuring long term jobs and products made in Cambodia, while Cambodian migrant workers have played an important part in supporting the local Thai economy.
However, 2020 has also undeniably been a difficult year, with COVID-19 throwing the economy and international travel into disarray and the ongoing threat
of climate change leading to deadly floods in both Cambodia and Thailand.
Despite all these challenges, both our countries have shown the spirit of cooperation to get through this tough time together. It is only in times of hardship that a true friendship can be identified and valued. The time that any true friends will stand side by side and help each other.
To support the Cambodian government’s efforts, the Thai government and the Thai community in Cambodia have donated COVID-19 flood relief items and the Thai business in Cambodia ensures that quality Thai products and services are still available at affordable prices. Medical patients from Cambodia are still allowed for treatment in Thailand in spite of border closure.
The Cambodian government, in return, has given amnesty for Thai citizens who have been unable to leave Cambodia due to travel restrictions to remain in Cambodia and has facilitated entry into Cambodia for Thai businessmen in line with Cambodia’s effective health precautions.
As we look ahead into 2021, the beginning of the eighth decade in our diplomatic relations, I believe we can build upon a solid foundation that we have forged from the past seven decades and achieve more. Let us value our long friendship and keep working together. This will definitely help us reach a vision of mutual prosperity and well-being our two peoples deserve.
Mr. Panyarak Poolthup
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Thailand to the Kingdom of Cambodia