Edited by Anna Popper

The Royal Thai Embassy in Budapest hosted a diplomatic reception on the occasion of the National Day of the Kingdom of Thailandcelebrating the Birthday Anniversary of His Majesty Late King Bhumibol Adulyadej The Great, the highly revered monarch by Thai people, and observing the Thai Father’s Day.

The event was held at the magnificent Anantara New York Palace Budapest Hotel, an architectural gem from 1894, the Golden Age of European history, owned by a Thai company,

and brought together about 200 distinguished guests, including government officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, dignitaries and representatives from social life, economic circles and the private sector in Hungary, members of the diplomatic corps and the Thai community. Mr. István Jakab, Deputy Speaker of the Hungarian National Assembly was warmly welcomed as Guest of Honour.

The opening ceremony started with the national anthems of Thailand and Hungary, and continued with the remarks of Mr. Nopakhun Luichant, Chargé d’Affaires at the Embassy:

“Ladies and Gentlemen, Good Evening, Jó estét kívánok,

I am honoured and delighted to welcome you all to the National Day Reception of the Kingdom of Thailand. For several decades, Thailand has been celebrating its National Day on the 5th of December, the Birthday Anniversary of His Majesty the Late King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great. It is also the Father’s Day for the Thai people. Although His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej passed away in 2016, out of our sincerest love and deepest respect to the late King, the Royal Thai Government and the Thai people have decided to keep this date as the National Day. It is an expression of our gratitude and appreciation for His Majesty’s seven decades of selfless dedication to the well-being of the Thai people.

While His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej was knowledgeable in many fields, his Sufficiency Economy Philosophy has guided Thailand’s national development based on moderation, prudence and social immunity. Thailand views the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy as a viable approach to achieve the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

In 2013, the United Nations designated 5th December as World Soil Day in honour of His Late Majesty’s contributions to soil science and research. World Soil Day is held annually to focus attention on the importance of healthy soil and to advocate for sustainable management of soil resources. This year’s theme is: ‘Soil and Water: A Source of Life’.

His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn, who ascended to the throne in 2016, has built upon the legacy of his father. His Majesty has nurtured, conserved and extended Royal Development Projects and Initiatives, started by his father in various areas, such as agriculture, public healthcare, education, water management, and conservation of natural resources.”

Building on a Long Tradition of Thai-Hungarian Ties

“Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

This year, Thailand and Hungary celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations. However, cordial ties between the two countries commenced over 150 years ago, since the conclusion of the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation between the Kingdom of Siam and the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1869.

Four kings of Thailand have visited Hungary, including: His Majesty King Chulalongkorn in 1897, His Majesty King Vajiravudh in 1902, His Majesty King Prajadhipok in 1934, and the present King,His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn in 1989, when he was Crown Prince.

Many events were held to mark the 50th Anniversary of Thai – Hungarian Diplomatic Relations this year. In MayThailand hosted the 4th Session of Thai-Hungarian Political Consultations and Hungary hosted the 3rd Thai-Hungarian Joint Steering Committee on Water Resources Management.

On the 14th May, the Thai side also organised the outdoor Thai Festival to showcase the highlights of Thailand’s cultural heritage in Budapest. (https://press.agency/the-budapests-thai-festival-is-back-in-2023)

On 23rd May, the Thai – Hungarian Business Forum was held to promote trade and investment in Budapest, and on the 10th September, the friendly Teqball match between the national teams of Thailand and Hungary took place in Bangkok. We appreciate the progress of cooperation in other areas, including Agriculture and Education through the Stipendium Hungaricum Program.

Thailand and Hungary have fruitful cooperation in many areas. The Hungarian – Thai Chamber of Commerce was established in May 2023 to promote business networking and interactions between the two countries. Our annual two-way trade values approximately 750 million USD with a bright prospect for expansion and aims to reach 1 billion USD in the coming years.

Aside from numerous Thai restaurants and Thai massage saloons, two major Thai companies invest in Hungary, namely Thai President Foods Hungary producing ‘MAMA and Thai Chefs instant noodles’ for European markets, and this hotel, Anantara New York Palace Budapest, owned by the MINOR International Group from Thailand.

The celebration of the 50th Anniversary of diplomatic relations this year is a good opportunity to build upon and further strengthen the existing relations between our two countries and peoples in the many years to come. With Thailand’s proactive Economic Diplomacy to open-up doors to new opportunities, most importantly through Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC)Bio-Circular-Green Economy (BCG) to underpin Thailand 4.0 policy, and the Land Bridge megaproject, the next Regional Maritime Centre of the World to give a shorter trade route between the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

Last but not least, I would like to thank all sponsors and extend my greatest appreciation to H.E. Mr. István Jakab, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly for being here as our guest of honour.

May I now propose a Toast to the Good Health and Happiness of Her Excellency Katalin NovákPresident of Hungary and His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn, as well as for the lasting friendship between Thailand and Hungary.”

In his speech, Mr. István Jakab conveyed his congratulations on the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of Diplomatic relations, highlighting the close and friendly bonds between Hungary and Thailand. He expressed his strong support for enhancing bilateral ties between the two nations, which have experienced substantial growth in various aspects. He placed great importance on the founding of Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Groups in both countries and also praised the successful collaborations in various fields.

As part of the celebration, besides great classical music pieces, the invitees could also enjoy musical compositions of His Majesty the Late King Bhumibol Adulyadej The Great, played by Maestro Vilmos Oláh, a famous Hungarian Emmy Awarded violinist, using a 17th-century master violin. Through his support and helpfulness, he earned recognition as a true Friend of Thailand and succeeded to establish a multifaceted professional cooperation with the South-East Asian Kingdom several years ago.

The event featured exiting sport presentations by young members of the Hungarian Muaythai Federation.

The reception showcased Thai cultural heritage, Thai products in collaboration with the sponsors: Thai-Croatian Chamber of Commerce, Anantara New York Palace Hotel, Thai President Foods (Hungary), Im-oon Thai Food, and Thai Piac, as well as the Diplomatic Press Agency.

The guests had the opportunity to savour samples of renowned Thai cuisine prepared with care, attention to detail and mastery.

Source: The Royal Thai Embassy in Budapest

Photos by DPA