Thailand Saudi Arabia PIF Chief Thai PM

Saudi Arabian Fund pledges to make Thailand its investment hub for Southeast Asia

The Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF) has pledged to use Thailand as a hub for investment in Southeast Asia. The PIF chief, Yasir bin Othman Al-Rumayyan, made this announcement at a meeting with Thai Prime Minister, Prayut Chan-o-cha.

The Saudi fund’s chief met the Thai PM at the Don Mueang Airport on the morning of May 15. This news was announced via Government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana.

PM Prayut told the PIF chief that relaxed travel restrictions in Thailand will help boost cooperation between the two kingdoms. He also told the fund chief that Thailand was ready to further develop bilateral ties, which are already improving.

The PIF chief said he was meeting Prayut under the instructions of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud. Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman is also deputy prime minister and defence minister of Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia keen to invest in Thailand

The PIF chief said his instructions were to discuss cooperation between the two countries, particularly in trade. The fund chief also expressed interest in investments in energy businesses such as petroleum and gas surveys.

The two sides also discussed e-sports and soft power cooperation, the spokesman said.

The Saudi fund chief also told Prayut that Saudi Arabia hopes to hold bilateral talks with Thailand to build opportunities for trade and investment. He added that Saudi Arabia will also use Thailand as an investment hub for the region.

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 representatives in their respective capitals. In 1966, the two kingdoms each had an ambassador in their respective countries.

Unfortunately, Thai-Saudi relations stalled in 1989 over a scandal dubbed the Blue Diamond Affair. The incident involved stolen jewels and a string of murders.

Prior to the incident, there were up to 500,000 workers from Thailand (even more than the Philippines) and thousands of Thai students. This amount was reduced to merely less than a hundred workers and no students following the incident.

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