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Thai wines take step forward on world stage with Siam Winery’s first Professional Challenge

More than 900 people trained with e-province project

Website aims to reduce empty truck journeys and save fuel costs

Thai wines take step forward on world stage with Siam Winery’s first Professional Challenge

Tom Van Blarcom, TQPR Thailand

Siam Winery, one of Thailand’s leading wine producers with its Monsoon Valley Wines, in collaboration with Bangkok Exhibition Services (BES), and supported by the Food & Beverage Association of Thailand (FBAT), organized and hosted with great success the first Wine Professional Challenge 2005 with exciting results, and participants from Thailand’s leading hospitality establishments.

The winner of Wine Professional Challenge (forth from left) Tiwa Yenwattan of The Oriental Hotel, first runner up Patcharee Soonthonchote of Italthai Wine Cellars (third from right), second runner up Jirachai Sethisakko of Anantara Resort and Spa, Samui (third from left), along with Piyapong Tongkam, wine writer and Still Wine Sales Manager, Siam Winery Trading Plus (far left), Thawatchai Teppitak, food & wine writer (second left), Kim Wachtveitl, Siam Winery’s Director Business Development (second right), and Pairach Intaput, President of Thai Sommelier & Gastronomie.

Aiming to put Thailand further on the world wine map, while elevating the knowledge level of professionals in the wine industry, Siam Winery created this annual event, the Wine Professional Challenge, in order to both build and showcase the skills of Thai wine professionals.

Eighteen finalists competed on a written test, followed by blind tasting, then wine and food matching and, finally, on wine servicing.

The Challenge was very exciting for everyone involved, and the finalists all did very well, we were extremely impressed said Kim Wachtveitl, Siam Winery’s director of business development. We saw a very high level of excellence that bodes well for Thailand. With this success we are now in the process of preparing for next year’s Challenge and I am confident that there will be even more participants.

The winner of this year’s Wine Professional Challenge was Tiwa Yenwattan from The Oriental Bangkok. He was awarded a trip to France where he will be visiting several of the most recognized names in Bordeaux and Champagne, as well as a visit to the London Wine Fair in May next year. The first runner-up, Patcharee Soonthonchote of Italthai Wine Cellars, and the second runner up, Jirachai Sethisakko of Anatara Resort and Spa, Samui were awarded a trip to visit vineyards in Europe.

Siam Winery is Thailand’s leading producer of premium wines and grape-based products with its wines being featured in many deluxe hotels and restaurants, with export to 15 countries around the world.

More than 900 people trained with e-province project

Preeyanoot Jittawong

Chiang Mai University’s “e-province” project, training officials, business people and residents in the use of information technology, ended in September with 960 persons having attended sessions.

Assoc. Prof. Thanomporn Laohajaratsaeng, director of Information Technology Service Center, Chiang Mai University describes the IT training.

Assoc. Prof. Thanomporn Laohajaratsaeng, director of the CMU Information Technology Service Center, said the project was undertaken in line with government policy to improve IT skills throughout the country. Despite Chiang Mai’s importance as an economic and cultural center, IT knowledge was in general confined to the city center, with those in the suburbs having little practical knowledge.

CMU’s project, which began in May, was to reduce the knowledge gap between the outer and inner districts and to make everyone more aware of IT and how it can change their lives for the better. IT experts held training sessions and presented CDs, all free of charge.

By the end of the project period, 960 persons from 22 districts and two sub-districts in Chiang Mai had received training, and 1,500 CDs had been given away.

Anyone wanting to learn more about IT training is invited to visit

Website aims to reduce empty truck journeys and save fuel costs

Nopniwat Krailerg

A website designed to reduce the enormous number of journeys undertaken by empty trucks through matching haulage operators with goods shippers has been set up by the Department of Land Transport.

Autsathai Rattanadilok na Phuket, head of Chiang Mai Provincial Transport Office.

The website address is and there is also a call center at 0 2272 5222.

The website provides information on truck hire throughout the country, coordinating the facilities of transportation companies with those who need to hire them, and advising on truck capacity, routes, pickups and destinations, and the hiring of vehicles for one-way trips.

Head of the Chiang Mai Provincial Transport Office Autsathai Rattanadilok Na Phuket said that research has shown 46 percent of all journeys nationally were made by empty trucks. Statistically this adds up to the use of 1,596 million liters of imported fuel oil costing 22,538 million baht. Environmentally, the empty trucks release 114,462 tons of pollutants and cause 1,201 million baht of road damage per year.

By setting up a website to reduce the number of empty journeys and make more productive use of haulage companies’ fleets, a large amount of this economic and environmental burden can be lifted and manpower costa and traffic accidents reduced.

Autsathai said that if use of empty truck runs could be reduced by only 1 percent it would still save 34.83 million liters of fuel oil or 491.83 million baht per year.