Thailand and Denmark, two kingdoms located far apart and in different hemispheres of the world, have long had a close relationship, thanks to their much-revered dynasties.
The two countries will celebrate their 400 years of bilateral relations in 2021. Their long-standing friendship has been developed through the warm and cordial relationship between the Thai and Danish royal families, as well as personal contacts between the people of the two countries.
Historical records confirm that Thailand and Denmark made their first contact in 1621, during the reign of King Songtham of the Ayutthaya Period, when Danish traders were granted permission to trade in Siam. Thailand ordered cannons from the Danish Royal Asiatic Company in 1770 in the reign of King Taksin the Great, in the Thonburi Period.
Both countries signed the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce, and Navigation in 1858 during the reign of King Mongkut, Rama IV. They started to develop their diplomatic ties in 1860. Eventually, their diplomatic relations were upgraded to the ambassadorial level in 1958.
In the year 1962, King Frederik IX and Queen Ingrid of Denmark paid an official visit to Thailand and became the first royal guests at Bhuping Palace in Chiang Mai.
Crown Princess Margrethe of Denmark paid an extended visit of 11 days to Thailand as guest of Their Majesties the King and Queen of Thailand in November 1963. She also took part in the Loy Krathong Festival at the Bang Pa-In Summer Palace. She was dressed in a Northern Thai costume when Their Majesties the King and Queen gave a Thai-style dinner at Ambhornsathan Palace.
In 1981, Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II and her consort, Prince Henrik, paid a private visit to Thailand, prior to their official visit to Japan.
In Denmark, Queen Margrethe II is deeply loved and respected for her personal elegance, knowledge, and intellectual and artistic abilities, as well as her aptitude for communicating with her subjects in a way that captures their imaginations.
Thailand and Denmark have cooperated in the frameworks of ASEAN-EU, the Asia-Europe Meeting, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
From January to October 2000, trade between Thailand and Denmark amounted to 285.4 million US dollars. The trade balance is in Thailand’s favor.
Danish business people are interested in investing in foot-wear manufacturing, beer production, food industry, and marine transport business in Thailand.
More than 78,000 Danish tourists visited Thailand in 1999, representing an increase of 22 percent. Thailand is regarded as one of the most popular tourist destinations among Danish tourists.
Bilateral development cooperation between Thailand and Denmark has been implemented by two Danish agencies. They are Danish International Development Assistance and Danish Cooperation for Environment and Development. In 1999, both agencies provided 660 million baht in assistance to Thailand. Thai-Danish relations have been built on a firm foundation that helps promote better understanding between the two nations.
State Visit to Thailand from 7 to 12 February 2001
The four-century-old Thai-Danish relations, further cemented by the close relations between the two monarchies, reached new heights when Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and His Highness Prince Henrik paid a state visit to Thailand from 7 to 12 February 2001.Once arriving in Bangkok, the royal couple was engaged in a tight schedule of activities, including visits to various projects launched under Thai-Danish cooperation.
On 8 February, Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II and the Prince Consort Henrik graced the opening of an exhibition on Thai-Danish relations at the National Museum. The two-month exhibition, scheduled for 8 February to 8 April, features the ties between Thailand and Denmark from the Ayutthaya Period to the present, with emphasis on amity and commerce. Exhibits on display include old maps, paintings, costumes, and objects in connection with the monarchies and royal families of the two countries.
After the ceremony, the royal couple took a short river cruise along the Chao Phraya River before visiting nearby College of Dramatic Arts where they observed students’ activities, particularly the training in traditional Thai dances.
On 9 February, Her Majesty the Queen and the Prince Consort visited the world’s largest teak palace, Vimanmek, and left for the northern capital of Chiang Mai, where they visited a Danish factory and joined in the opening ceremony of a seminar on the Centenary of Thai-Danish Biological Cooperation.
The royal couple also visited an elephant conservation center in the province and observed agricultural development projects at the Doi Inthanon Royal Project and the Mae Chaem Basin Development Project.
The Danish royal couple, along with Crown Prince Frederik, and accompanied all the way by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand, left for Chiang Rai Province on 11 February to visit Doi Tung Development Project, where production of native arts and crafts and processed food was demonstrated.
The royal family of Denmark thoroughly enjoyed their sojourn in Thailand, which highlighted the long-established tradition of close and cordial relationships between the two nations and monarchies, both endeared to their peoples’ hearts.