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Thailand, Vietnam Strengthen Ties Over Bowls of Massaman Curry

Thailand Vietnam Massaman Curry Thai Food

Thailand’s world-famous Massaman curry is no longer just a tasty dish but a diplomatic tool that is furthering ties with Vietnam.

Due to the uptick in the Covid-19 pandemic in Vietnam, Thai Ambassador to Vietnam Nikorndej Palangkula decided to postpone a celebration originally planned for the Hanoi Opera House.

Instead, he delivered Massaman curry to senior officials in Hanoi involved Thai-Vietnamese relations including those in the private sector. The curry also included a video clip of how to prepare Massaman at home.

In his interview with Voice of Vietnam, the ambassador hailed the bilateral ties which have gone from strength to strength.

He expressed confidence that by 2025, commercial ties could reach US$25 billion and perhaps even more, if the two sides adopt a new platform and new economy. With a stronger and complementary supply chain, the two-way trade volume would rise.

Nikorndej added that people-to-people relations are the foundation of an enduring friendship.

“During the Covid-19 crisis, Thailand and Vietnam have cooperated closely with one another and we will continue to do so in the future,” he said.

Thailand and Vietnam established a diplomatic relationship in 1975. This was upgraded to a strategic partnership in 2013 and to a strengthened strategic partnership in 2019.

The two are planning a third joint Cabinet meeting later this year, which will be hosted by Hanoi. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha plans to have a face-to-face meeting with Vietnam’s new Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.

Regular exchanges of Thai-Vietnamese youth have been held every year to increase their awareness and understanding of each other’s culture, education and other aspects of their lives.

Recently, the Thai-Vietnamese community in Thailand commemorated the 131st anniversary of the late President Ho Chi Minh. He spent over a year in Thailand from 1928-29.

As part of the commemoration of the 45th anniversary of Thailand-Vietnam diplomatic ties, the Academy of Social Science’s Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Hanoi, and Chulalongkorn University’s Institute of Security and International Studies jointly organized a webinar to discuss the new dynamism of these relations.

Experts from both countries were on the panel. Vietnamese Ambassador Phan Chi Thanh gave a keynote speech to open the webinar.

More programs and activities are being organized to celebrate the anniversary.