British Embassy in Bangkok To Be Sold Off

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lomuamart
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British Embassy in Bangkok To Be Sold Off

Post by lomuamart » Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:08 pm

It's a few years now since the front part of The Embassy was sold off. Now they're going the whole hog and relocating to some tower block on Sathorn Road:


Cash-strapped Foreign Office puts Bangkok embassy up for sale
Foreign Office hopes to raise £420m from building’s sale to reinvest in other projects

The scale of financial pressure on the British diplomatic service has been underlined by a Foreign Office announcement that it is raising £420m by selling its embassy in Bangkok.

The sale is the largest land deal in Thai history and the Foreign Office’s biggest ever sale. The department said the proceeds would be reinvested elsewhere in the overseas estate and would fund 30-40 modernisation projects around the world, including in Washington DC.

The Foreign Office has long complained that its budget is being cut to the bone at a time when the parallel budget of the Department for International Development is booming.

The UK foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, has been looking to see how he can capture parts of the DfID budget without breaching international rules on the definition of aid. A series of pooled budgets have been established, including the conflict security and stability fund. The transparency of the spending in these budgets has been repeatedly challenged.

The Bangkok embassy is being sold to a joint-venture consortium of Hongkong Land, a member of the Jardine Matheson Group, and Central Group. The new Bangkok embassy building will be based in the AIA Sathorn Tower in the central business district.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/201 ... p-for-sale

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Re: British Embassy in Bangkok To Be Sold Off

Post by oakdale160 » Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:28 pm

OH that is wonderful. perhaps if we are really lucky that space will be replaced with a new much-needed additional shopping centre.

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Re: British Embassy in Bangkok To Be Sold Off

Post by Vital Spark » Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:44 pm

I think it's a great idea. Embassies don't need palatial buildings in the centre of the city any more - they're much better off in an office block and preferably on the outskirts of the city with transport links and easy parking. Gone are the days when diplomats entertained each other to show off how wealthy their country is.

I guess the American Ambassador's place is still on Wireless Road. What a fabulous, but totally unnecessary place (palace) that is. Unless you need to impress...

Far better that funds from the sale are directed to more worthy causes.

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Re: British Embassy in Bangkok To Be Sold Off

Post by caller » Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:08 pm

oakdale160 wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:28 pm
OH that is wonderful. perhaps if we are really lucky that space will be replaced with a new much-needed additional shopping centre.
I'm already wondering whether this spells the end for Central Chit Lom, which is connected via a walkway to the new and ultra modern Central Embassy, built on the chunk of Embassy land already sold off. Makes sense really, plus offices and condo's.
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Re: British Embassy in Bangkok To Be Sold Off

Post by centermid7 » Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:58 pm

Vital Spark wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:44 pm

I guess the American Ambassador's place is still on Wireless Road. What a fabulous, but totally unnecessary place (palace) that is. Unless you need to impress...

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We are selling our embassy so that makes it a great opportunity to bash what the Americans are doing.
It never ends does it?

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Re: British Embassy in Bangkok To Be Sold Off

Post by HHTel » Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:50 am

This is quite old news. It was announced a long time ago that what remains of the embassy was to be sold.
For what the embassy does these days, it has become something of a 'white elephant'.
The end of 2 year stints for civil servants to have a holiday in a colonial palace.

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Re: British Embassy in Bangkok To Be Sold Off

Post by Vital Spark » Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:15 am

centermid7 wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:58 pm
Vital Spark wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:44 pm

I guess the American Ambassador's place is still on Wireless Road. What a fabulous, but totally unnecessary place (palace) that is. Unless you need to impress...

VS
We are selling our embassy so that makes it a great opportunity to bash what the Americans are doing.
It never ends does it?

555
No, not bashing anyone. Just pointing out that hugely expensive Embassies (and Ambassador's houses) don't really fit into today's world.

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Re: British Embassy in Bangkok To Be Sold Off

Post by Nereus » Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:43 am

Australia has recently done the same thing, so it is not just the British Embassy.
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Re: British Embassy in Bangkok To Be Sold Off

Post by HHTel » Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:06 am

I always knew that the land was gifted by King Mongut so I did a bit of reading.

The original land (free) was sold back to the Siam Government for 110,000 pounds which was more than enough to buy and build the current one on Wireless road.

They sold the first half for 20 billion baht (around 400 million pounds) and the remaining for a similar figure. Getting close to a billion quid isn't a bad return for land that was originally gifted to the UK.

The intention to sell off the remaining land was made in April 2016.

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Re: British Embassy in Bangkok To Be Sold Off

Post by Nereus » Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:55 am

Brits sell embassy to Central

https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/genera ... recent_box

Central Group and its Hong Kong partner have struck a deal to purchase the existing site of the British embassy in Bangkok for £420 million (about 18.6 billion baht), the biggest land deal in the country's history.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued a statement to announce the deal yesterday.

According to the announcement, the 25-rai plot was sold to a joint-venture consortium of Central Group and Hongkong Land, a member of the Jardine Matheson Group.

It's the biggest property deal in Thai history and the FCO's biggest ever sale. The proceeds will be reinvested in the FCO's overseas estate and will fund 30-40 modernisation projects around the world.

The 25-rai plot is located in a prime location next to the Central Embassy mall near Phloenchit intersection.
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". The project would mark the biggest investment in the group's history.
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Re: British Embassy in Bangkok To Be Sold Off

Post by oakdale160 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:56 am

9/11 also had an effect. Many Embassies all over the world had large social events in the Embassy grounds or the grounds of the Ambassadors mansion. Now that is unthinkable.

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Re: British Embassy in Bangkok To Be Sold Off

Post by oakdale160 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:57 am

9/11 also had an effect. Many Embassies all over the world had large social events in the Embassy grounds or the grounds of the Ambassadors mansion. Now that is unthinkable.

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Re: British Embassy in Bangkok To Be Sold Off

Post by J.J.B. » Thu Feb 01, 2018 2:01 pm

Nereus wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:43 am
Australia has recently done the same thing, so it is not just the British Embassy.
I lived and worked in New York between 2005/06 and my office building also housed the Australian Embassy and High Commission. We were close to the UN, on E 42nd St, so surrounded by similar outposts of foreign states, although most of them were situated in impressive buildings with numerous national flags on display. The Israeli embassy was over a noisy Irish pub but was an impressive building nonetheless.

On reflection, I think it’s a good thing for Embassies (at least for my own country’s diplomats) to be based in faceless office buildings. Perhaps it would encourage them to do more work and realise they are not there to try and Lord it over the natives.
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Re: British Embassy in Bangkok To Be Sold Off

Post by 404cameljockey » Thu Feb 01, 2018 2:57 pm

J.J.B. wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 2:01 pm
Nereus wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:43 am
Australia has recently done the same thing, so it is not just the British Embassy.
I lived and worked in New York between 2005/06 and my office building also housed the Australian Embassy and High Commission. We were close to the UN, on E 42nd St, so surrounded by similar outposts of foreign states, although most of them were situated in impressive buildings with numerous national flags on display. The Israeli embassy was over a noisy Irish pub but was an impressive building nonetheless.

On reflection, I think it’s a good thing for Embassies (at least for my own country’s diplomats) to be based in faceless office buildings. Perhaps it would encourage them to do more work and realise they are not there to try and Lord it over the natives.
Hear, hear. I've said it here before but I think the level of consular services offered by British Embassies to UK citizens is laughable. We all have to go to the expense of couriering documents back and forward to the UK for them to be stamped/approved. Then the Thai Embassy here won't legalise them if they haven't been stamped by the UK Embassy in Thailand, so it has to back to the UK AGAIN for a Thai stamp.

Was the same in the UAE.

Are they sponsored by DHL?

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Re: British Embassy in Bangkok To Be Sold Off

Post by HHTel » Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:29 pm

Sorry, 404. You've completely lost/confused me. As far as I know, the only documents couriered to the UK are passport renewals. They are then 'legalised' using a pro-forma letter from the British Embassy included with your new passport.
Other documents are 'notarised' by the British Embassy here upon request.
Not sure where the Thai Embassy comes into this.

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