Phuket to host joint trade committee meeting with Bhutan

PHUKET: Government officials in Phuket are preparing to welcome a ministerial delegation from Bhutan to the island as part of a Joint Trade Committee (JTC) next week as the two countries strive to establish an agreement Preferential Trade (PTA) on certain goods and tariffs.

Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew held a press conference at 10am yesterday (April 21) at the Pago Design Phuket Hotel on Rassada Rd in Phuket Town to detail the 4and Thailand-Bhutan JTC Meeting to be held at Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket from April 27-29.

Deputy Governor Anupap Rodkwan Yodrabam, Phuket Provincial Permanent Secretary Somprat Prabsongkram, Phuket Provincial Deputy Director of Homeland Security Rear Admiral Kanokpol Pimthong, Phuket Provincial Police Commander-in-Chief, Major General Sermphan Sirikong, and Deputy Premier of the Phuket Provincial Administrative Organization (PPAO) Anupap Wechvanichsanong.

Also present were the Mayor of Phuket City, Saroj Angkhanapilas, Woranit Aphirat Jirawong from the Phuket Provincial Bureau of Commerce, the Head of the Communicable Disease Unit from the Phuket Provincial Bureau of Prisons, Dr. Kusuma Sawangphan, and Mr. Krishna Tipayachan , commandant of Phuket prison.

Ms. Woranit explained that the next JTC meeting is hosted by the Department of International Trade Negotiations and will convene the Deputy Prime Minister and ministers of the two countries with Thai Minister of Commerce Jurin Laksanawisit as chair.

The objective of the two-day meeting is to establish a PTA between the two countries and to negotiate tariff reductions on the basis of an exchange of various goods of varying quantities.

Ms. Woranit further underlined the strong traditional ties between Thailand and Bhutan, which flow from the respective royal families of the two countries to the people of each nation. She underlined the ties of a cultural and religious nature that strengthen the relations between the two countries, adding that as the host of the meeting, Thailand will ensure a safe and comfortable stay for the participants from Bhutan.

She further explained that additional activities have been scheduled for Bhutanese guests during their stay, such as a visit to the Phuket Pineapple Plantation which has been certified by the Thai Geographical Indication Product Standard as pineapple is considered as the symbol that represents the identity of Phuket.

Ms. Woranit concluded by saying that she hopes all Phuketians will come together to serve as respectful and accommodating hosts to create the right impression with overseas guests and ensure the JTC meeting is a resounding success.

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