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UK Bangkok embassy sale marks record B18.6bn Thai land deal

BANGKOK: Britain is to move its embassy in Bangkok after the record £420 million (B18.6billion) sale of its current premises in the Thai capital, the UK’s foreign ministry announced yesterday (Jan 31).

property
By AFP

Thursday 1 February 2018, 10:06AM


The 1920s building was purchased by property firm Hongkong Land and Thai conglomerate Central Group. Photo: WikiCommons.

The 1920s building was purchased by property firm Hongkong Land and Thai conglomerate Central Group. Photo: WikiCommons.

The sale of the 25-rai site in Bangkok’s Lumpini neighbourhood was the foreign ministry’s biggest ever such deal and the biggest land deal in Thai history, said to the ministry.

The 1920s building was purchased by property firm Hongkong Land and Thai conglomerate Central Group.

Embassy staff are due to relocate to the AIA Sathorn Tower by the end of the year.

“Our workforce in Bangkok will be moving into a state-of-the-art premises by 2019 and this can only enhance our trade links and bilateral relations in Thailand and throughout the region,” UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement.

Large parts of the current embassy were said to be unusable and the building was in need of significant refurbishment.

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Simon McDonald, head of Britain’s diplomatic service, said the move was being made “in a tight fiscal environment” and it was right to take “tough decisions” to ensure the UK’s global presence.

Funds raised by the sale will be spent on up to 40 “modernisation projects” at British embassies around the world, the foreign ministry said.

Tos Chirathivat, chief executive of Central Group, earlier said the group "wants to develop a mixed-use project that links to our Central Embassy shopping project", reported the Bangkok Post.

The project would mark the biggest investment in the group's history, the Post reported. (See story here.) 

 

 

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