The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (Public Organisation) or TCEB attended the BIE General Assembly to make the presentation for the second time on its latest progress on Thailand’s bid to host World Expo 2020.
The assembly, held in Paris from 21– 22 November, was attended by 158 BIE member countries. TCEB portrayed the unity and resolve of Thai people to jointly restore the ancient city of Ayutthaya, which has been proposed as the venue for this world-event. TCEB also proposed themes for side-events under the overall concept of “Redefine Globalisation: Balanced Life, Sustainable Living”, and highlighted progress in the awareness-building campaign for Thailand’s bid.
Mr Akapol Sorasuchart, TCEB President, stated that “This was Thailand’s second opportunity to join the BIE General Assembly to present progress in our bid to host World Expo 2020, and we were delighted with the warm reception. On the first occasion, we presented Thailand at the BIE General Assembly during 13-14 June 2011, highlighting the readiness of the country and the proposed host city, Ayutthaya, both in terms of the venue location, facilities, transport infrastructure, arts and culture, and the generous spirit of Thai people. We also introduced our proposed theme for the event: “Redefine Globalisation: Balanced Life, Sustainable Living”. At that time only Turkey and Thailand had expressed their intent to bid.
“This time, the list has grown to five countries: Thailand (Ayutthaya Province), Turkey (Izmir), Russia (Ekaterinburg); Brazil (Sao Paolo) and UAE (Dubai). Thailand highlighted progress made in developing the themes for the side-events. The four selected themes were as follows: ‘Revive Local Wisdom for Global Wellness’, ‘Reunite Connections for Seamlesss Harmony’; ‘Reinvent Creativity for All Living-Beings’ and ‘Reform Life’s Value for Utmost Happiness’. Should Thailand be selected to host the event, member countries will select and interpret these themes from their own country perspectives and present them in their respective national pavilions. These diverse portrayals will convey a unified message under the overall concept: ‘Redefine globalisation: balanced life, Sustainable living’” Mr Akapol added.
During the meeting, Thailand also updated the delegates on progress made in implementing its public awareness programme, including a national logo and mascot competition, and the ‘World Expo 2020: Believe in Thailand’ event, held in Bangkok recently. During this event, 100,000 signatures of Thai people were collected as a sign of support for Thailand’s bid to host World Expo 2020.
At BIE, the delegates were fascinated by a video presentation of the mascot for Thailand’s bid: ‘Nong Naree’, which represents a mythical creature in Thai literature. Overall, TCEB’s presentation successfully marked Thailand off from the other four competitors, especially in terms of venue location, venue facilities and infrastructure, and its diversity of tourism opportunities. Most important of all, the delegates saw a glimpse of the unity and inner strength of Thai people in overcoming the challenges they face today, and were touched by their sincerity and generosity in the face of adversity.
The official presentations aside, TCEB participated in an exhibition along with other candidate countries, distributing brochures summarising progress Thailand made to date, as well as a special 200-page publication covering the history of Thailand and its involvement in World Expo since 1942. Copies of the publication were given to all 158 country delegates as a valuable souvenir.
Also, TCEB hosted a ‘Thai Night’ for all delegates, featuring displays of traditional Thai art and culture, including garland-making, umbrella-painting, and fruit carving. Thailand’s Ambassador to France joined in welcoming delegates from around the world. A delegation from Thailand also took part in the event, comprising representatives from the Thai Embassy in Paris, Office of Commercial Affairs, and the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
The next milestone in Thailand’s bid preparation will be the launch of a World Expo 2020 Pavilion at the Board of Investment (BOI) Fair to be held at IMPACT Convention Center from 5-20 January 2012, under the theme “Redefining Globalisation- Balanced Life, Sustainable Living’. The 2,000m2 Pavilion will present an overview of Thailand and its involvement in the World Expo, and proposals to host the World Expo 2020 (Ayutthaya). Every evening throughout the BOI Fair, TCEB will host a ‘Night Show’ with dazzling special effects around the pavilion. TCEB anticipates over 107,000 visitors at the Pavilion during the 16-day event.
TCEB also invited Mr. Vicente González Loscertales, Secretary General of the International Exhibitions Bureau, who is responsible for the process of selecting the winning country to host the World Expo 2020, to visit Thailand from 15-18 January 2012. Mr Loscertales will deliver a special keynote address on 16 January on the topic “Innovation, Economic Impact and Investment Opportunities from the World Expo” to an audience of senior executives who will join the ‘CEO Forum’, including heads of the Board of Trade, and the Federation of Thai Industries, including members of the Thai Chambers of Commerce, and the Stock Exchange of Thailand. The lecture will be followed by an evening reception.
Concluding, Mr Akapol remarked that “our two opportunities to present progress to the BIE General Assembly in Paris, as well as Thailand’s planned activities in support of its bid to host the World Expo 2020 succeeded in differentiating Thailand in the eyes of the world, and ensured that Thailand was the centre of attention at the BIE event. TCEB will continue to work closely with all concerned to promote Ayutthaya as the host city for World Expo 2020, and I would like to thank everyone who has given such strong support to our campaign so far.”