Srettha welcomes German president

Srettha welcomes German president

Srettha welcomes German president
Steinmeier: Building bridges

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier begins a state visit to Thailand on Wednesday at the invitation of Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin.

It is the first trip by a German president to this country in 22 years, said Thai government spokesperson Chai Watcharonke.

The highlight of Mr Steinmeier’s three-day visit will be a discussion with Mr Srettha on Thursday focusing on trade, investment, climate change, and vocational education, according to Mr Chai.

Representatives from Germany’s private sector will also attend that event.

A joint press conference between Mr Srettha and Mr Steinmeier will be held afterwards, followed by a luncheon meeting, Mr Chai added.

The Thai government expects the trip will help boost cooperation between the two countries.

According to Mr Chai, the president plans to visit some industries in which Germany sees significant development potential, including gas- and electronic-based car manufacturers, a hydro-floating solar hybrid power plant, and a sustainable rice cropping company.

Some tourist sites, namely Pha Taem National Park in Ubon Ratchathani and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Bangkok, have also been added to Mr Steinmeier’s itinerary as part of efforts to support knowledge and cultural exchanges, the spokesman said.

“The prime minister believes [Mr Steinmeier’s] visit is an important step towards strengthening ties between both countries. It could lead to Thailand including Germany as a strategic partner in the future, as well as building global trust in Thailand,” he said.

Mr Steinmeier’s trip is the first visit to Thailand by a German president since 2002, when Johannes Rau arrived during Thaksin Shinawatra’s administration.

This also marks the first official reception for a visiting head of state for Mr Srettha since he ascended to the role last year, said Mr Chai.