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H.E. Ms. Sibille de Cartier d’Yves The Belgian Ambassador to Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos


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Expat Life in Thailand were privileged to be granted the first interview with the Belgian Ambassador to Thailand H.E. Ms. Sibille de Cartier d’Yves.

 

Ambassador good afternoon to you. May I start with asking how long have you been the Ambassador to Thailand? Did you arrive to Thailand from home, or were you posted somewhere else before?

Good afternoon to you. I arrived in Thailand in September. I am accredited for Thailand and also for Cambodia, Myanmar and Lao. For the previous four years I was Ambassador of Belgium in Egypt, responsible for Egypt and Sudan. 

 

Where are you born and brought up?

I come from Belgium where I was brought up and studied. 

 

At which age did you decide you wanted to become a diplomat?

As a student in international relations, diplomacy had been in my mind for a few years as a possibility after completing my studies. I became a diplomat directly after university. I registered for a national competition and was lucky enough to go through at the first trial. 

 

Do you have other diplomats in your family?

There are no other diplomats in my close relatives. Although one of my ancestors is however a very known Belgian diplomat who was Ambassador in London during the second World War. We are not directly related – as he had no children.

 

How do you look at Thailand today? Have you had any obstacles since you arrived?

I arrived in the middle of the Covid crisis with all the regulations and complications that it implies. It was therefore of course more challenging than usual to arrive in these circumstances. I also had to go through quarantine with my family to enter Thailand. We are however lucky to experience a life inside Thailand which is relatively normal, which is quite exceptional these days. The recent increase of cases has of course caused some new measures to be taken but I am convinced that the quick actions taken will allow the situation to normalise quickly. 

 

As a middle income country, Thailand has developed very quickly in the last decades and is not the country it was twenty years ago. These rapid changes are naturally an opportunity – it has created welfare and allowed Thailand to develop its infrastructures considerably – but it also creates challenges for the society, as changes are very rapid. I am impressed by a lot of the things I see in Thailand – the country is usually well organised and has health services that are a model for the region – our citizens living in other countries in the region often come to Bangkok when they have more complicated health issues to deal with.

 

On the other hands, like everywhere, there is also room for improvement in many fields. Belgium is one of the countries involved in road safety, which is increasingly an important focus of the authorities, and where we have best practices we are happily sharing. The consequences of the Covid crisis on the people in Thailand is of course without doubt a point of attention. It has also increased inequality in the society. It will surely be a priority of the leadership of this country  in the future.   

 

Do you see any similarities between your country and Thailand?

Belgium and Thailand are both in the heart of their regions and attached to multilateralism and cooperation. Belgium has been a motor of the European integration and Thailand has played a key role to develop ASEAN. 

 

We are also committed to sustainability and I am eager to increase cooperation in this regard. We also are two monarchies with friendly relations between our royal households for centuries.  

 

Both countries are also very green and have a lot to offer for visitors, from landscape to history. Belgium is much smaller in size however, so you don’t need a aeroplane to travel around the country. On a more anecdotal note, it is the first country I am posted to where it rains more than in Belgium – usually known for its rainy weather!

 

Do you have children?

I have two teenagers at home. They have been moving from country to country with us for a while now. 

 

How do you look upon your work here? What does an average day look like?

My days are quite diverse, it is one of the privileges of my work. The variety of my work and the people I meet is really what I prefer in my job. I have meetings with the Embassy staff daily and at European level regularly. I also meet Belgian nationals – our associations,  businessmen or other nationals. I also meet regularly officials, businessmen or the civil society from Thailand or the other countries I am accredited for – to understand the country better and to strengthen the cooperation between our two countries. And sometimes I meet also colleagues from other Embassies or attend their events.

 

Full Story: https://expatlifeinthailand.com/interview/h-e-ms-sibille-de-cartier-dyves-the-belgian-ambassador-to-thailand-cambodia-myanmar-and-laos/

 

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-- © Copyright Expat Life in Thailand 2021-05-28
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'We are also committed to sustainability and I am eager to increase cooperation in this regard. We also are two monarchies with friendly relations between our royal households for centuries.' 

 

Glad she got sustainability in, hub and sandbox would have been nice as well, Belgium is less than 200 years old! 😄

 

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