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FCO Global Estate Update

Volume 635: debated on Wednesday 31 January 2018

I announce today the planned move of the Bangkok Embassy in Thailand. The new embassy building will be based in the AIA Sathorn Tower and will provide a modern, dedicated base from which diplomats can work to promote UK interests in Thailand.

We anticipate moving into the new offices in 2019, until which point we will lease back our existing embassy site to keep disruption to a minimum. Our embassy will continue to provide essential consular services to British holidaymakers and business people, and to work with the Thai authorities on preventing child exploitation, organised crime, money laundering and human trafficking.

Our new and improved embassy will allow us to take this activity to the next level, including by strengthening our trade links, enhancing our strong collaboration on science and innovation, and maintaining our focus on supporting human rights defenders and promoting freedom of expression. The new embassy will demonstrate our long-term commitment to our relationship with Thailand —a key partner for the UK’s security and prosperity interests and leading member of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The completion of the sale of the current Bangkok Embassy compound in Thailand is the biggest land deal in Thai history and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s (FCO’s) biggest ever sale, raising at least £420 million.

This deal is the result of considerable work by the FCO. The funds released will allow us to begin work on 30 to 40 major long-planned estates projects, and enable us to continue to update and modernise our global estate so that it meets our aspiration to provide a world-class platform for diplomacy.