New Zealand PM to make official visit to Thailand

Picture courtesy of New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon's Facebook account

Christopher Luxon, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, is set for an official visit to Thailand between April 16 and 18, hosted by Thailand Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin. Luxon’s delegation includes Simon Watts, Minister for Climate Change, Paulo Garcia, Member of Parliament, and a host of officials from various New Zealand government departments, along with influential business leaders.

PM Luxon and PM Srettha will engage in extensive discussions, with the New Zealand business delegation also invited to meet at Government House. A series of Memorandums of Understanding between Thai and New Zealand agencies are scheduled to be signed, witnessed by both prime ministers.

In a show of respect and hospitality, the 62 year old Thai prime minister will host a luncheon dedicated to Luxon. The New Zealand leader will also have the opportunity to meet with notable New Zealanders residing in Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, and will organise a reception for representatives of the public and private sectors from both nations.

This visit marks the first official trip by a New Zealand prime minister to Thailand in over a decade. According to the Foreign Ministry, the 53 year old Luxon’s visit will serve to strengthen diplomatic bonds that have been in place for nearly 70 years between the two nations.

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The visit is anticipated to pave the way for Thailand and New Zealand to enhance cooperation across various sectors, including defence and security, economy, clean energy, innovation, education, cultural domains, and people-to-people cooperation.

Luxon’s tour of Thailand forms part of a wider Southeast Asian journey set to take place from April 14-20, which also includes stopovers in Singapore and the Philippines.

In related news, the Royal Thai Embassy in Wellington announced an increase in visa fees for individuals from New Zealand intending to visit Thailand. The new fees became effective from March 19. The announcement has caused concern among netizens on social media that there could be a possible visa fee increase for other nationalities.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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