Update from Ambassador Jon Åström Gröndahl to all Swedes in Thailand

Photo: Korawut Neeparn

The Swedish Ambassador Jon Åström Gröndahl gives in his monthly letter to all Swedes in Thailand, an update on the current situation in Thailand. 

The Ambassador states that the spread of Covid-19 is increasing in Thailand and that the infection is now spread to all 77 provinces in the country. “Infection rates are still low compared with the rest of the world, but the rate of increase is significantly higher than before,” Jon Åström Gröndahl writes.

Along with new government restrictions and individual restrictions in the provinces, the Ambassador informs that to reduce the risk of spreading the infection, the embassy has reintroduced work in two different shifts and many also work from home.

The Ambassador takes the opportunity to inform Swedes in Thailand about the possibility of getting help remotely with several of the Embassy’s consular services. 

See the list of which certificates and other things you can apply for electronically without having to visit the embassy here. However, the Ambassador notes that to apply for a new passport or ID card, you have to come in person.

Along with the practical information, Jon Åström Gröndahl also gives an update on his latest activities including the political situation in Thailand and Myanmar as well as The Embassy’s continuing cooperation with the Swedish Chamber of Commerce and Business Sweden:

“I’m glad I managed to make a couple of trips before the new restrictions hit. Among other things, I visited Chiang Mai in mid-March with my Nordic colleagues. A valuable visit with many interesting meetings, including with the governor. I also appreciated the opportunity to meet (and have coffee with!) several Swedes who live in the area. I also visited Ubon Ratchathani to attend the inauguration of a new human rights institute affiliated with the university there. 

I visited the provinces of Chonburi, Rayong, and Pattaya and I was excited to visit, among other things, the Electrolux factory and Svenska Rymdbolaget’s operations in the area. I would also like to highlight our honorary consulate’s fine and valuable activities in both Chiang Mai and Pattaya.

The embassy continues to monitor political developments in Thailand. There is still a need for dialogue and reconciliation between different groups. Ongoing legal proceedings against leading student representatives raise questions. I recently took part in Amnesty’s launch of the organization’s annual report and there is a legitimate growing concern about the application of the country’s uniquely harsh majestic crime laws. We have also needed to supplement and sharpen our travel information due to the new development”, Jon Åström Gröndahl

Much of the embassy’s time is devoted to the tragic developments in Myanmar. After the military coup in February, the violence and killing have continued. Hundreds of people have been killed. It is a horrific development for which the military is responsible. The efforts of the outside world are continuing and, among others, the EU has in time imposed sanctions on leading military representatives. I hope that Myanmar’s neighbors, not least the ASEAN countries and China, will now be able to do their utmost to end the violence and suffering and to resume previous democracy and reform efforts.

Within the development section, we are working hard to develop a new strategy for regional development cooperation. An exciting work that has come a long way already and where the new strategy will apply from the turn of the year 2021/22.

With the Chamber of Commerce and Business Sweden, we also continue to work within Team Sweden, even though current restrictions make it more difficult to work as physical meetings are unfortunately canceled or postponed. But together with the Thai embassy in Stockholm, a series of digital activities is now planned, starting in the second half of May with Swedish companies where the focus is on collaborations in the area of ​​sustainability.

In conclusion, I hope that Thailand’s vaccination program can start and that we can slowly but surely return to a more normal life. 

Wish everyone a continued nice spring!” the Ambassador writes.

Read his monthly letter to all Swedes in Thailand in Swedish here

About Mette Larsen

ScandAsia Journalist • Scandinavian Publishing Co., Ltd. • Thailand

View all posts by Mette Larsen

2 Comments on “Update from Ambassador Jon Åström Gröndahl to all Swedes in Thailand”

  1. We send a visa request to VFS today and we ask them that we can only go to Bangkok one time now considering Pandemic. We want to send papers with recommended post and go to Bangkok only to get the visa stamp and show us that we are we. This should be normal.
    Best regards Anders Lundgren

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