Trading doubts for trust: Thai Trade representative addresses past controversy

Picture courtesy of Bangkok Post.

The newly designated Thai trade representative recently responded to lingering media scepticism regarding her background and qualifications. Nalinee Taveesin insisted that any past misunderstandings had been resolved.

This was a reference to her blacklisting by the United States Department of the Treasury approximately ten years ago. This was due to her alleged business connections with the then-sanctioned regime of Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe. The sanctions against her were imposed after she was appointed as a trade representative for the Yingluck Shinawatra administration.

Refusing to step down amid the allegations in January 2012, Nalinee maintained that her interactions with the Mugabe family were purely social. A complaint was subsequently lodged with the Office of Ombudsman, which, after reviewing her case, found nothing incriminating against her.

Her recent appointment as a trade representative for the Srettha Thavisin administration was confirmed by the Cabinet on September 13. Shortly after the announcement of her appointment, media reports regarding the US sanctions resurfaced.

In response to these criticisms, Nalinee stated that her name no longer appears on any sanction lists, and she claimed to possess official US government documents supporting her assertion.

“I have a visa for the US, and I’ve been invited to join the Fourth of July celebrations several times, including this year.”

Moreover, Nalinee, who also held the position of PM’s Office Minister in the Yingluck administration, added that her qualifications had been thoroughly scrutinized by relevant authorities prior to her appointment.

When questioned about her possible familial relationship with Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, Nalinee denied any such connection, stating that she had only recently met him at a campaign event, Bangkok Post reported.

Related news from yesterday, PM Srettha is slated for a diplomatic visit to China from October 8-10 to negotiate on 10 pivotal issues, among which strengthening bilateral relations and enhancing Thai-Chinese tourism cooperation take precedence. Read more about this news HERE.

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Atima Homtientong

Atima is a dedicated news writer living in Bangkok. With a degree from Mahidol University, she focuses on reporting key issues and happenings around the country. In her off time, Atima enjoys writing and producing music.

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