On a recent return from Germany, Her Excellency Nongnuth Phetcharatana, ambassador of Thailand to the Federal Republic of Germany, in an insightful discussion spoke to us about business, cultural and educational opportunities with Germany, trade potential for Thai investors and what the countries can learn from each other.
What was your previous post before Berlin?
I served as ambassador to Austria for almost three years before arriving in Germany. In Austria I also served as the permanent representative of Thailand for the United Nations office in Vienna, as well as ambassador and permanent representative to the Organisation of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), of which Thailand is an associate member. From 2004 to 2009, I served at the Foreign Ministry as director general for American and South Pacific affairs. My educational background is in political science, with a major in international relations. Before taking the exam to become an officer at the Foreign Ministry, I worked as a news reporter at the Bangkok Post for almost a year.
How long have you been in Berlinand what is your view on Germany?
I’ve been in Berlin for two years now. Germany is a big country and perhaps the most important in the EU. In economic terms it plays a significant role in Europe. The relationship between Thailand and Germany dates back more than 152 years. Germany is considered an important partner for Thailand. Germany is known for its high-quality products and Germans are very efficient, well organised and disciplined. Germany’s continued success is something that Thailand can learn from. They have good policies on environmental protection and promotion of renewable energy. Technology is advanced and innovative and law and order is effective
What are your vision and mission as ambassador?
My vision and mission are not only to promote cooperation and continued good relations with Germany but also to learn how to adapt good German practices and knowledge to Thai society. The work of the embassy is multifarious. Germany is Thailand’s number one trading partner in the EU and more of our exports, including computer chips, electronics and auto parts, are destined for Germany than elsewhere in the EU. Thailand is considered an automotive hub in the region and Germany is strong in the automotive industry, so this is definitely one sector where the countries can work together. We are also a major exporter of jewellery and processed food products to Germany.