Spotlight on Thailand at the 9th Annual Asian Chamber Gala 2017 in Virginia

In the evening of December 6, 2017, Mrs. Pattrawan Vechasart, Chargé d’Affaires, led the economic team from the Thai Embassy in Washington to attend the 9th Annual Asian Chamber Gala organized by the Virginia Asian Chamber of Commerce (VACC) in Richmond, Virginia. This year’s Gala theme was “Renewal” and Thailand was highlighted as a guest country. The team from Thailand comprised Minister Prayoth Benyasut of Commercial Office, Minister Vanida Khumniredpetch of Agricultural Office, Minister Sumalee of the Economic and Financial Office, Counselor Phisek Panupat and Counselor Rachada Suthepakul.

The Gala proceeded with the opening remarks by VACC Chairman Tinh Duc Phan. After warmly welcoming the Embassy’s delegates, Mr. Phan invited 200 businessmen and businesswomen, local government officials, local policemen as well as representatives from local universities to observe a moment of silence as a tribute to His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Mrs. Pattrawan expressed her appreciation for the tribute and continued to convey to the audience why Virginians should be better informed about Thailand.

“Thailand’s relations with the United States are right on this year’s Gala theme of Renewal, ” mentioned Mrs. Pattrawan as recently the Thai Prime Minister visited President Trump in Washington in early October. “2018 will mark the 200th anniversary of the first contact between our two countries dated back during the time of President James Monroe and King Rama II.”

The prospect of both countries’ trade and investment relations is promising, with a rapid increase of Thailand’s investment in the U.S. that has created tens of thousands of American jobs. In Thailand, the country is pressing on with Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) as the new engine of growth, which is already attracting American companies.

“I hope that you leave the Gala tonight with a renewed curiosity about Thailand. And I hope that the curiosity leads you to generate business ideas with the country. The Embassy’s door in Washington is always open and we welcome your visit and further discussion, ” Mrs. Pattrawan concluded. After that, Mr. Stephen Moret, President of Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) delivered his keynote speech, touching upon possibility to cooperate with Thailand and laying out Virginia’s economic policies in attracting investment domestically and abroad.

The Embassy also brought to the audience a set of traditional Thai dance performed by volunteer teachers from Wat Thai Washington, D.C. The dance was well received by the audience, many of which expressed their interests in traveling to Thailand.

Besides the traditional performance, the Embassy brought pop-up exhibitions to introduce Thailand during the reception. Those who attended the event got to know more of Thailand’s tourism, fruit carving, signature products ranging from jasmine and riceberry rice, Thai silk, to Thai orchid.