Relation between the Kingdom of Thailand
the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Thailand and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have long and historic relations. The two Kingdoms have enjoyed warm and cordial relationships even before the establishment of formal diplomatic ties on 1 October 1957 with resident representative in their respective capitals.
Relations between the two Kingdoms have been further strengthened by the visit to Saudi Arabia in January 1984 of the Thai delegation led by Thai Deputy Foreign Minister Prapas Limpabhandhu and high-ranking officials from the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, as well as representatives from the Thai Parliament and the private sector.
Thailand and Saudi Arabia always share similar views on major regional and international issues, especially those of vital importance to international peace and security. Both countries are working closely and supported each other’s position in the United Nations and at other international fora.
A Chronology of key events of Thai - Saudi Diplomatic Ties
In 2004, Saudi Arabia was 24th major market for Thai exports and 3 rd major market of Thailand in Middle East. Thailand ranked 20th among major traders with Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia is Thailand’s major supplier of crude oil. Thailand’s trade with Saudi Arabia reached 2.9 Billion USD in 2004.
In 2005 two-way trade rose to 5 Billion USD. Thailand imported from Saudi Arabia 4 Billion USD while exported 1 Billion USD.
Thailand imported mainly crude oil, petrochemical products and fertilizer while exporting to Saudi Arabia motor cars auto part and accessories, air conditioning machine, refrigerators, prepared or preserved fish, woven fabrics, washing machines, machinery, garments, rice etc.
Thai Labour in Saudi Arabia
Pre-Gulf War (1990) Saudi Arabia was the largest market for Thai oversea workers with its number over 200,000. At present, according to the statistic provided by Ministry of foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia, 10,000 Thais remain in the Kingdom.
Haj and Islamic Affairs
Thailand, with over 7.5 million Muslim population takes great pride in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s care of the Holy Land. Thailand and Saudi Arabia historic links could be trace back to the early day of establishment of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The number of Thai pilgrims perform their fifth pillar of Islam each year approximately between 9,000 to 10,000.
In 2005, the number of Thai Pilgrims performing religious rituals in the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah reached 10,124.
Up to date, the number of Thai Muslim 12,400 have already applied their documents at the Department of Religious Affairs to perform Hajj which will be started at the end of this year.