Update from Ambassador Jon Åström to all Swedes in Thailand

In the monthly letter to all Swedes in Thailand, Ambassador Jon Åström Gröndahl comments on Thailand’s easing of covid-19 restrictions, the country’s reopening plan while also updating on the Embassy’s upcoming move of office. 

Amongst other things, the Ambassador says that Thailand is currently “slowly but surely lifting various restrictions and other pandemic measures.”

The easing of restrictions also allows the staff at the Embassy to return to work in shifts with the office as the main workplace and guests are again allowed on the premises, the Ambassador says. 

Regarding the Embassy’s upcoming move of office, the Ambassador says during the first week of November they will carry out a long-planned move of the office, from floors 11 and 20 to floor 8 in the same building as before; One Pacific Place. 

“The move means a short and temporary period of somewhat poorer availability, for which I ask for patience and understanding. We try to make the most of the move during a weekend when we are still closed, but it simply takes a couple of days to get everything in place,” he says.  

Swedes in need of consular assistance during the period please see the link for more info: Certificates and legalizations – Sweden Abroad Apply for a new passport / National ID card – Sweden Abroad.

In light of Thailand’s news of allowing vaccinated travelers from 46 countries including Sweden to enter without having to undergo quarantine, Ambassador Jon Åström hopes and believes that a resumed and increased exchange between Sweden and Thailand will soon be seen. The Ambassador points out that the eased restrictions also mean that it will be easier to travel within Thailand.  

“At the end of November, I plan to travel to, among other places, Phuket, where I hope to meet many Swedes who both live and work in this part of the country, which is so important to Thailand. Parts of the trip are done together with my Nordic colleagues. I also hope to be able to embark on a small tour on the Thai railway – inspired by several colleagues who have tried and recommended the train journey,” he says. 

Commenting on other areas, the Ambassador says:

“In other respects, our mission continues to monitor economic and political developments. The economy in Thailand and Southeast Asia has, of course, been greatly affected by Covid-19, and although growth looks set to increase slightly in 2021, it is still a tough situation. Hopefully, not least the small and medium-sized companies in, for example, the hospitality industry can now start to return after a very difficult period. The vaccinations have started properly and the forecasts look good in the future.

As for Myanmar, it, unfortunately, looks different and apart from a still difficult Covid situation, there are still major hardships and risks for the population after the military coup in February. The Swedish commitment to Myanmar is long-term and focuses on continuing to support the neediest. About our regional development cooperation in Asia and Oceania, we are currently waiting to get a new regional strategy in place. After that, important work begins to prepare projects and programs for the coming years. 

In just over a month, Sweden will open a section office in Cambodia, which will organizationally belong to the Bangkok embassy. In parallel, we are working to open an honorary consulate in Phnom Penh. It will be exciting to take on another country as Swedish Ambassador.”

About Gregers Møller

Editor-in-Chief • ScandAsia Publishing Co., Ltd. • Bangkok, Thailand

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