Thailand (Kingdom of)

History of Relations | Diplomatic Representation | Travel Info | Health Requirements | Climate Info | Currency Info | Trade Info | Visits and Meetings | Agreements | Interest Groups/ Organisations

History of Relations

South Africa and the Kingdom of Thailand agreed in March 1992 on the establishment of consular relations. South African and Thai Consulates-General were respectively established in Bangkok during September 1992, and in Johannesburg during October 1992. On 9 December 1993, South Africa and Thailand established full diplomatic relations, and the Consulates-General were upgraded to Embassies.

2002 Was the tenth anniversary of the establishment of Consular relations. In 2003,
the tenth anniversary of the establishment of Diplomatic relations between South
Africa were marked by a range of special events.

On 30 August 2002, Ambassador Pheto handed over the Exequatur to Mr Sawaeng
Crueaviwatanakul as South Africa's Honorary Consul in Chiang Mai with jurisdiction
for Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai Provinces.

Ambassador Pheto presented her credentials as South Africa's third Ambassador to HM the King on 8 June 2001. 2002 and 2003 will also mark the tenth anniversary of the establishment of consular and diplomatic relations between the two countries and various bilateral activities are being planned to celebrate these events

Diplomatic Representation

South African Representation in Thailand

H E Mr G Q M Doidge
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Observer to ESCAP

South African Embassy

Thailand Representation in South Africa

H E Mr P Danvivathana
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

Royal Thai Embassy in Pretoria

Travel Info

Travel information for Thailand can be obtained from the website of the Tourism
Authority of Thailand (TAT) at http://www.tourismthailand.org

Penalties for possession, distribution or manufacture of illegal narcotic substances are
severe and can include the death penalty. Possession of even small quantities of such
drugs can lead to imprisonment. Amphetamines and Ecstasy are regarded as class A
drugs and possession or trafficking of them carries the same penalties as for example
heroin.

South African nationals visiting Thailand are advised to maintain a high level of
personal security at all times. Martial law regulations are currently in force in the
three southernmost provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat following an upsurge of
violence in the region.

An airport departure service charge of Bt500 per person is levied on all passengers
departing from international airports in Thailand and this is not part of the airticket. Airport tax for domestic flights is included in tickets. The exception is Koh Samui where there is a domestic departure tax of Bt400 per person.

Visa Requirements for South Africans

For more information contact the Royal Thai Embassy in Pretoria.


Health Requirements

A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers entering the Kingdom from an infected area.

It is strongly recommended that comprehensive travel and health insurance be
obtained which would include emergency air evacuation by a recognised carrier.
Prospective travellers should check with their insurer that their policy meets their
particular needs.

There has been an increase since January 2005 in the number of reported cases of
Dengue Fever, in particular in Southern Thailand and the border areas with Malaysia
and Myanmar.

There has been a renewed outbreak of avian influenza (bird flu) amongst poultry in
Thailand. Visitors to Thailand are unlikely to be affected but should avoid places
where they may come into contact with live poultry.

For further information go to Travelers' Health.


Climate Info

The most dependable features of Thailand's climate are heat and humidity. It is possible to distinguish three broadly distinct seasons: the hot, dry season lasting from February to May, with an average temperature of 35 degrees and humidity of at least 75%; the monsoon (wet) season from June to October, with an average temperature of 30 degrees and humidity of 90%; and the cool season lasting from November to January when the temperature ranges between 34 and 20 degrees with a drop in humidity.

For up-to-date weather information click here.


Currency Info

The monetary unit is the Baht, divided into one hundred satang. The following coins and notes are currently in use: 25 and 50 satang (copper): Baht 1, 2 (silver), 5 (silver with copper edge) and 10 (copper centre with silver border).

Bank notes: 20 (green), 50 (blue), 100 (red), 500 (purple) and 1,000 (grey) Baht.

Major foreign currencies can be exchanged for Thai Baht at banks and authorized money changers (South African Rand can only be exchanged at the Siam Commercial Bank). Major credit cards are widely accepted. The current exchange rate of the Baht to the Rand is approximately 5,5 Baht = 1,00 Rand and US$1,00 is approximately 39 Baht (January 2004).

All major foreign currencies can be exchanged for Thai Baht at banks and authorised
money changers. South African Rand can also be exchanged at some banks at rather
unfavourable exchange rates. Thomas Cook and American Express foreign exchange
branches and banks in SA can sometimes change SA Rand into Thai Baht before
departure for Thailand.

For current exchange rates click here.

State and Official Visits / Bilateral Meetings

In April 2004, Thai Deputy Prime Minister Vishanu Krua-ngam, attended the
inauguration of President Mbeki and the celebrations of 10 years of Freedom and
Democracy in Pretoria. In June 2004, the Standing Committee on Privatisation of
State Enterprises of the Thai Senate visited SA and in July 2004 the Standing
Committee on Consumer Protection of the House of Representatives visited SA. Mr
Vidhaya Vejjajiya, Advisor to the Foreign Minister in his capacity as a Special Envoy
of the Foreign Minister attended the XIV NAM Ministerial Meeting and the Second
Asia-Africa Sub-Regional Organisations Conference Ministerial Meeting in August
2004 in Durban. Representatives from the State Enterprise Policy Office of the
Ministry of Finance visited SA in November 2004 and a Senate Committee on
Agriculture and Cooperatives visited SA in December 2004.

Important visits from SA to Thailand in 2004 included the Mpumalanga Investment
Initiative in April 2004 and a SABS delegation in May 2004. The XV AIDS Conference
in July 2004 was attended by former President Mandela, Mrs Graca Machel as well as
the Ministers of Health, Social Development, Deputy Minister of Minerals & Energy,
Premier of the Free State and a number of Provincial MECs. In August 2004, the
Deputy Director-General of the Department of Foreign Affairs visited Bangkok. In
September 2004 a delegation from the National Housing Corporation visited Thailand
and a Limpopo Trade and Investment Mission visited in October 2004. The Deputy
Director-General of the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism attended a
CITES meeting in October 2004 and the Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs &
Tourism attended the IUCN World Conservation Congress in November 2004. In
November 2004 the WITS Business School also visited Bangkok. In December 2004
the Minister of Communications visited Thailand.

Important Visitors from SA to Thailand in 2005 have included the Deputy Minister of
Provincial and Local Government who attended a Ministerial Meeting on Regional
Coordination on Tsunami Early Warning Arrangements in Phuket in January 2005, a
delegation from the Umkhanyakude District Municipality in April 2005 and the
Ministers of Social Development, Safety and Security and the Deputy Minister of
Justice and Constitutional Development who attended the 11th UN Congress on Crime
Prevention and Criminal Justice in April 2005. The second meeting of the SA-Thai
Joint Trade Committee was held in Pattaya in May 2005. A delegation of the Thai
House of Representatives visited SA in July 2005.

Bilateral Agreements

If you have any queries with regard to treaties please contact the Treaty Section at 012 351 0892/0742 or send an e-mail to: vanderwaltr@dirco.gov.za.

Trade Info

In 2004, bilateral trade between South Africa and Thailand reached a new record of
more than R6 billion thereby reaffirming Thailand as South Africa's biggest trading
partner in Southeast Asia. South Africa is also Thailand's biggest trading partner on
the African continent.

South Africa's main exports to Thailand include stainless steel, aluminium, flat-rolled
iron and steel, paper pulp, chemicals, fresh fruit and ferro-alloys.

Thailand's main export products to South Africa include motor car parts and
accessories, par-boiled rice, computers, motor cars, canned fish, washing machines
and refrigerators.

For current information on trade statistics between South Africa and Thailand, visit the web site of the Department of Trade and Industry of South Africa.

Interest Groups and Information

Mr Maurice Bromley
President :
SA-THAI CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
10-04B Times Square Building,
246 Sukhumvit Road,
Klongtoey,
BANGKOK 10110,
Thailand

Tel : +66 2 294-4747/8
Fax : +66 2 229-4749
Email address : satcc@satcc.net
Website : http://www.satcc.net

Ms Leonie Croucher
The Chairperson
Jabulani
C/o South African Embassy
Sixth Floor, The Park Place
231 Sarasin Road
Lumpini
Bangkok 10330
Thailand

Tel: 09-66-2-253 8473/4/5/6
Fax: 09-66-2-253 8477

Email address: cbrian@access.inet.co.th
Web: www.satcc.net/jabulanipage/jabulani.html

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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa