International Islamic Economic, Cultural & Tourism Conference

International Islamic Economic, Cultural & Tourism Conference

คำกล่าวเปิดงาน “ International Islamic Economic, Cultural & Tourism Conference in Thailand 2007” จัดโดย สำนักงานส่งเสริมการจัดประชุมและนิทรรศการ (องค์การมหาชน) (สสปน.) เมื่อวันที่ 2 กันยายน 2550 ณ อิมแพค เมืองทองธานี

International Islamic Economic, Cultural & Tourism Conference

Friday, September 7, 2007

IMPACT Muang Thong Thani

Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my great pleasure and honour to be here today on behalf of the Royal Thai Government to welcome you to Thailand, and particularly to the 2nd International Islamic Economic, Cultural & Tourism Conference in Bangkok. It is also my honour to speak on behalf of our Prime Minister, General Surayud Chulanont, who is today in Australia to attend the APEC Metting

Ladies and gentlemen, The ties between Thailand and the Islamic world have developed gradually over our long history of bilateral and multilateral cooperation with Muslim countries. The organization of this event in Bangkok is another big leap to strengthen our partnerships further in many areas of mutual interest, especially following the constructive dialogues during the visit to Thailand by OIC Secretary General Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu in May this year, and Thailand’s participation in the 34th Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers in Islamabad, Pakistan, in the same month.

We are grateful for the close cooperation of our neighboring countries, particularly Malaysia, as well as the OIC’s understanding and cooperation with regard to the situation and the measures undertaken by the Royal Thai Government in the effort to bring peace and stability to the Southern Border Provinces.

From the economic point of view, which is one of the main areas of this conference and the concurrent World of Muslim Trade & Exhibition, this meaningful weekend will provide a forum to expand our partnership in trade and investment.

The World of Muslim Trade & Exhibition will be a great opportunity for delegates from Muslim economies to discover how ready Thailand is to do business with the Muslim world, particularly in the halal business.

Thailand’s significant advantage in the halal industry is the establishment of our government-funded Halal Science Center at Chulalongkorn University, which is the world’s first center specializing in halal products. The center provides a variety of halal-related services and has taken an active role to ensure that all halal products from Thailand strictly comply with the Islamic Code.

Since Thailand is one of the world’s major food producers and exporters, the Halal Science Center will also be a key drive in the promotion of our halal food industry as part of the goal to establish Thailand as the “Kitchen of the World”.

In May this year, the Halal Science Center has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on technical cooperation with Malaysia’s Halal Industry Development Corp – a move that will lead to greater knowledge of halal food and improvement of much needed laboratory skills in the industry. And today, another MOU will be signed between the Center and the International Center for Education in Islamic Finance, which is an institution with the aim to sustain and support the future growth of Islamic banking and financial services industry.

In terms of investment, our cooperation with the Muslim countries is still limited in number and scope, and we wish to expand these activities and opportunities. We would like Muslim investors to take advantage of our strong manufacturing base and our strategic position as a gateway for trade and investment into Southeast Asia by shifting investment in areas of mutual interest such as energy, petrochemical, banking, and financial services to Thailand. We also encourage investors from Islamic countries to undertake joint investment with Thai counterparts in areas of Thailand’s expertise, such as tourism, hotel management, and food and halal industry.

Also, I must bring to your attention that, without strong support from the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), the organization of this conference may never be as smooth as it is. As a government organization, TCEB has been entrusted to promote Thailand’s growing industry of corporate meetings, incentive events, conventions, and exhibitions, which is often referred to as MICE. The coordination and facilitation TCEB has provided in support of this conference as well as the World of Muslim Trade & Exhibition is one of the best affirmations of TCEB’s achievements in its effort to establish Thailand as the destination of choice for MICE events in the Asia-Pacific region. I am sure that TCEB is ready and pleased to welcome future incoming MICE events from Muslim countries as well.

I also appreciate the active role of Thai-Islamic Trade and Industrial Association (TITIA) in the organization of this eventful conference. And I would like to sincerely thank the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) for the support given.

I wish all delegates and participants at the 2nd International Islamic Economic, Cultural & Tourism Conference in Bangkok a fruitful and memorable time at the event.

Thank you.

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