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Banquet celebrates King's Birthday and Thai National Day

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- A banquet celebrating the 86th Birthday Anniversary of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, and the National Day of Thailand took place yesterday evening.

The auspicious occasion was organized by the Thailand Trade and Economic Office, Taipei (TTOE, 泰國貿易經濟貿易處), with multitudes of honored guests joining in the celebrations of the beloved King's birthday.

His Majesty the King played an instrumental role in the continuation of amicable relations between Thailand and Taiwan over the past four decades, said Ambassador Kriangsak Kittichaisaree of the TTOE during his address yesterday evening. Three collaborative initiatives have taken effect since December last year, including an accord that prevents double taxation of commerce between the two nations, an education exchange program, and a cross-governmental law enforcement cooperation agreement, said Kittichaisaree. Taiwan is listed among Thailand's top-five most important trading partners, with investments reaching NT$6 billion, while bilateral trade in the first ten months of this year had reached the US$9.3 billion benchmark, with the number of Taiwanese tourists seeing 32-percent year-on-year growth, Kittichaisaree said.

Ambassador Joseph Shih (石定), Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, recounted a state visit by His Majesty the King in 1963, the most auspicious landmark in four decades of international relations with Thailand. Shih also remarked that since 1991 over 1 million Thai workers have contributed their efforts to propel Taiwan's industrial growth. Shih added that since 1970, teams of technical advisers from Taiwan have been enlisted in a program to eradicate poverty in Thailand's Northern regions, indicating that Taiwan's diplomatic corps are honored to have participated in the program's 40th anniversary forums in Changmai recently. Bilateral trade has exceeded US$10.2 billion last year, with Taiwanese businesses accumulating investments of US$13.55 billion.

Highlights of yesterday's event included authentic Thai fare and a traditional blessing dance performed by two Thai exchange students.

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Ambassador Kriangsak Kittichaisaree, left, of the Thailand Trade and Economic Office, Taipei (TTOE, 泰國貿易經濟貿易處), and Ambassador Joseph Shih (石定), Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, right, raise a toast in celebrating the 86th birthday of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The ambassadors reaffirmed the strong relationship between Thailand and Taiwan. (Wu Hsin-yu, The China Post)

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