Thousands of trees planted in honour of HM Queen Sirikit
A project to honour Her Majesty Queen Sirikit by planting a total of
20,000 bamboos at Ban Pa Pai village in Doi Saket district got off to a
great start on August 12, HM the Queen’s birthday and Mothers’ Day. A good
number of members of the Chiang Mai Friends’ Group (and their friends),
enjoyed the planting with members of the local community - and the lunch
Papai self-sufficiency village in Doi Saket district was the scene for the
planting of 20,000 bamboo plants in honour of HM Queen Sirikit’s recent
Bamboos are the symbol of this village, set in beautiful countryside and run
on self-sufficiency lines as recommended by HM the King. Bamboo, the largest
grass in the world, is regarded highly across the whole of Asia for its
usefulness as food, in the construction of traditional homes, in the
manufacture of furniture and many other practical uses. Even its leaves have
a use as, when decomposed, they make an excellent fertiliser.
On the previous Saturday, August 8, the foundation Habitat for Humanity
together with representatives from San Sai district joined together for
another tree-planting in honour of Her Majesty at the Nong Kon Khru Tree
Planting Project. The aim of the day out was to increase ‘green areas’ and
improve air quality as a result. Young people are also encouraged to care
about their local community’s environment and learn to care for nature.
Approximately 2,552 seedlings of various tress including cork trees, teak
tress, red-black trees and golden gardenia trees were planted. Each
participant received 5 seedlings to plant at home in order to increase the
‘green areas’ in their own communities. The event was presided over by
Chiang Mai’s Governor Amornpan Nimanant, who also helped to plant the trees.
Chiang Mai best location for
international conventions and exhibitions
At a recent press conference, the PR manager of the Thailand
Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) Itsara Tanuplaeng stressed that
Chiang Mai is the best-placed location in Thailand to host international
conventions and exhibitions, as it is the Northern region’s centre for
business, transportation and tourism.
Tanuplaeng, the PR manager of the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau.
The growth of the city’s Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions,
(MICE) sector in would increase local residents’ income and enable
continuous transference of technological knowledge between different
industries, benefiting the province as well as the country. To support the
industry in the area, the ‘MICE for Youth’ and ‘Chiang Mai MICE city’
projects have been developed in order to develop MICE-related skills in
students and graduates and publicise the city and province as a host.
The project will operate in cooperation with 9 universities and various
businesses in the Northern region and will offer lectures and specialist
training plus internships with MICE industrial operations. Graduating
students will be awarded the ‘Thailand MICE Certificate’.
The project will be launched on September 2 at the Empress Hotel with the
signing of an agreement between the province and TCEB by Chiang Mai governor
Amornpan Nimanant and M. R. Disnadda Diskul, TCEB’s Chairman of the Board.
Focus Group seminars aim to
stimulate ASEAN business for SMEs
Pictured are owners and
managers of SMEs from various manufacturing and serve sectors, attending the
Chiang Mai Focus Group seminars held at Kantary Hills Hotel on August 5 and
The Office of SMEs Promotion, (OSMEP), is holding a series of
seminars entitled ‘Focus Group SMEs’ in order to improve domestic and export
sales amongst small manufacturing and service businesses badly affected by
the economic crisis and the downturn in exports. The Chiang Mai seminar was
held at Kantary Hills Hotel August 5 and 6, and attracted 200 owners and
managers of small and medium-sized businesses in the tourism, hand-made
products and furniture sectors.
According to OSMEP’s director, Thai hand-made products and furniture are
recognised worldwide, but raw materials now need to be imported from Laos
and Vietnam, increasing their cost. Publishing, screen printing, food and
fashion businesses are also losing money. The large numbers of SMEs involved
in the tourism sector have been hard hit by the 30-40% drop in tourist
numbers due to the political situation and the H1N1 virus.
During the recent ASEAN summit, a pilot project was initiated to link the
tourism industries of the member nations, with the aim that seamless travel
within the ASEAN block will attract a greater number of visitors overall.
The Focus Group seminars are intended to improve the marketing and
production skills of SMEs, making it easier for them to trade across
national borders and resulting in renewed growth in Thailand’s economy.
New law is biggest shake-up at Thai Customs and Excise in 135 years
A new law aimed at radically reforming the Thai Customs and Excise
department to facilitate an increase in trade will be submitted in draft
form to the cabinet by early October. The reforms will result in the biggest
shake-up for Customs since its establishment 135 years ago.
According to Deputy Finance Minister Pradit Pataraprasit, the new law will
ensure that the Customs department is more open to judicial scrutiny. He
added that all information concerning import duties will be placed in the
public domain at the beginning of September.
The reforms are intended to change the focus of the Customs department from
collecting import and export duties to that of a service provider
Pradit states that ‘The Customs Department should become easier to deal with
if the country wants to boost foreign trade and accelerate economic
recovery’. The department would also be expected to provide clarification on
product categories and methods used in evaluations and classifications,
which should assist businesses to calculate import costs.
To facilitate this, the department will have to commit to a consistent
evaluation process for calculating duties, the amount of which is to be
confirmed before actual importation. Pradit is committed to an improvement
in transparency, efficiency and accountability within the department, along
with a reduction in what are seen by businesses as arbitrary judgements.
Attempts to revive the north’s flagging tourism sector are increasing
Chiang Mai’s Tourism Business Association is asking for help from
the Chiang Mai governor for a plan to restore the city’s tourism industry,
severely affected by the world recession, political unrest and the H1N1
The association’s project involves both the national and international
aspects of the trade, although international tourism is the main focus as
promotions aimed at national tourism are already in place.
A recent report notes that tourist businesses in the city have suffered a
loss of over 80,000 visitors during the past 3 years. Government plans for
revival of the industry in 2011 include international publicity for Pattaya,
Phuket and Koh Samui, but ignore Chiang Mai due to a lack of support from
its local and provincial administrations. The massive decline in
international visitors to the city affects not just tourism-related
businesses, but other sectors as well.
According to Worapong Moochaotai, the association’s director, the strategy
presented to the governor covers every aspect of PR necessary to reverse the
downturn, including e-marketing, websites, international exhibitions,
road-shows and specific campaign targeting to the world’s capital cities.
Meanwhile, a group comprising representatives from the 10 northern chambers
of commerce, together with the chairman of the Committee for the Northern
Economic Quadrangle, met with the Chinese Consul-General to discuss the
prospects for Chinese tourism in the area.
At present, visitors from China’s landlocked south and west head for Thai
beach resorts. To attract Chinese tourists to the north, more promotional
campaigns need to reach them, and should include details of cultural events
and festivals, including the upcoming Mekong River Culture festival, to be
held in Chiang Rai in December.
The organisation is also committed to the construction of the railroad
linking Den Chai and Chiang Rai as part of the proposed Yunnan to Bangkok
It is hoped that all northern provinces along the route will benefit.
Cooperation with the private business sector in Laos has followed agreements
between the two countries in commerce, investment, tourism and logistics,
which will benefit SMEs in local communities.
A memorandum of understanding was recently signed between the government and
private sectors to promote a change of date for the ‘Amazing Lanna Jao’
campaign. Previously, the campaign has been held during the low season, but
was replaced this year by the Chiang Mai Grand Sale campaign, which has been
disappointing. As a result, the ‘Amazing Lanna Jao’ campaign will now be
held during the high season. In spite of the positive effect on tourism of
the birth of the panda cub Lhin Ping, promotional activities are essential
if the sector’s fortunes are to be revived. During the high season, another
grand sale will take place, focusing on quality rather than quantity.