From a broad perspective, Switzerland and Thailand maintain very close ties and share a long history full of great mutual respect and strong moments even though we are 9,000 km. apart. The first documented contacts between Switzerland and Thailand dated back to the 17th century when His Majesty Chulalongkorn (King Rama V) to visit Switzerland in 1897 and in 1907. His two visits marked the beginning of a long friendship, which was formalized through the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1931.
The political, economic and social exchanges between two countries have constantly grown ever since. Every year around 220,000 Swiss and 160,000 Thai visitors travel to each other’s country. Economically, trade flows in both directions have intensified over the years. In 2019, Switzerland has become Thailand’s 13th largest trading partner with over $5.5 billion (2.2%) of total Thai exports.
As far as investment is concerned, Swiss foreign direct investment in Thailand has continued to move in a positive direction. With more than 14 investment projects worth 50 million US dollars in the first three quarters of 2020, Switzerland has become the third largest European investor in Thailand, behind the Netherlands and Germany. The latest venture by Central Group, one of Thailand’s largest retail conglomerate, which expanded to acquire 50% stake of GLOBUS Switzerland earlier in 2020 also reflected a development in our economic cooperation.
Mr. Tos Chirathivat, Executive Chairman and CEO of Central Group, shared that “Switzerland has one of the most competitive economies in the world, ranking second in terms of per capita gross national product, supported by transparent and fair legal system, and reliable and extensive infrastructure. GLOBUS is a perfect fit for Central Group’s European luxury collection with its heritage Swiss brand, strong local presence, and great international recognition. We intend to build on this legacy by continuing to invest in store renovation programs in the next 3-5 years that will place GLOBUS alongside the best European luxury department stores. ”
Under the current circumstance, our close collaboration between Central Group Thailand and Switzerland has made us stronger. Despite many restrictions at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, Central Group worked closely with GLOBUS to set up policy and protocol to ensure safety of Swiss customers and colleagues.
As the year 2021 will mark the 90th anniversary of the establishment of Thailand – Switzerland diplomatic relations, several events have been planned by the Royal Thai Embassy throughout the year to celebrate this special milestone and highlight the excellent relationship we have had for 90 years and GLOBUS will be glad to play part in the celebration.
“On behalf of the Central Group, I wish to extend our sincere congratulations and invite everyone to join the 90th years anniversary celebration events. Central Group is honored to be recognized as a contributor to the good and long-standing Swiss-Thai relationship, and look forward to even closer ties and collaboration between the two nations in the years to come,” Mr. Tos Chirathivat, Executive Chairman and CEO of Central Group added.
Central Group, Thailand