Monday 20th of May 2019 |
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Jordan, Thailand ‘actively engaged’ to boost ties says top diplomat


By Mohammad Ghazal , The Jordan Times


AMMAN — Jordan’s high quality and moderate Islamic education system is the reason behind an increasing number of Thai students coming to pursue their degrees in the Kingdom, according to Thai Ambassador in Amman Pornpong Kanittanon.
Currently, there are more than 500 Thai students pursuing their post-graduate studies in Sharia and other religious studies, the ambassador said on the occasion of Thailand’s national day, celebrated by the embassy on Tuesday.
The number of Thai students arriving in Jordan rises annually by about 5-10 per cent, the ambassador added.
“For Thai students continuing their education abroad, Jordan is a very popular destination. They receive moderate Islamic teaching in Jordan… The knowledge they get from Jordan, which is a moderate and a tolerant country… greatly benefits the Muslim community in Thailand,” the diplomat told The Jordan Times.
On tourism, the ambassador said the number of tourists both ways has significantly increased.
More than 20,000 Thai tourists visit Jordan every year and almost the same number of Jordanians head to Thailand annually, he said, adding that more promotion would lead to a rise in the figures.
The ambassador also said that “the Royal families in Jordan and Thailand enjoy a very close and distinguished relationship, and the governments of the two countries are actively engaged in efforts and exchanges of visits to boost ties in various arenas”.
Jordanian-Thai trade exchange reached $180 million in 2017.
“This year, however, it is expected to decline to around $150 million due to the economic situation in Jordan and increases in costs of transportation,” he added.
“There is potential for increased cooperation in the field of investments and trade, and a Jordanian business delegation along with lawmakers are expected to visit Thailand next year to explore opportunities,” he added.
Thailand’s top exports to Jordan include canned food, automobiles and parts, aluminum, air conditioners and refrigerators.
Jordan, which has launched several initiatives on moderation and tolerance, is playing a key role in the fight against terrorism and there is ongoing security and intelligence cooperation between Jordan and Thailand, according to Kanittanon.
The ambassador added that a delegation of Thai experts and officials were recently in Jordan and held several meetings to follow up on efforts to deploy Thai technology to create artificial rain.
The two sides agreed on continued cooperation in this regard, he said, adding that it would take some time before the experiments began yielding fruitful results.
Artificial rainfall entails attempting to induce or increase precipitation. According to the clouds’ different physical properties, this can be done using airplanes or rockets to sow the clouds with catalysts such as dry ice, silver iodide and salt powder to increase precipitation, according to web sources.
Jordan and Thailand signed a memorandum of understanding in 2016 to benefit from the east Asian country’s experience in weather technology.
Jordan attempted to make artificial rain on its own between 1989 and 1995, but the experiment failed as the airplane and equipment used stopped functioning and the project faced several challenges. In 2009, Jordan received permission from Thailand to use their technique.

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