Ministry pushing soft power

A variety of Thai fruits at the ‘2022 Taste of Thailand’ fair being held during April 8-28 in Seoul, South Korea.

The Commerce Ministry vows to continue supporting and promoting soft power development, especially through food, fruit, digital content, health and beauty as well products with a Thai identity or Thainess.

Phusit Ratanakul Sereroengrit, director-general of the International Trade Promotion Department (DITP), reported on Tuesday the department under the Commerce Ministry has successfully promoted 1,878 entrepreneurs during the first six months of fiscal 2022 (October 2021 to March 2022) and generated exports valued 3.9 billion baht.

Of the total, 2.64 billion baht stemmed from fruits and the remaining 1.25 billion baht was mainly from food, digital content, health and beauty and creative products with a Thai identity.

For the first six months of fiscal 2022, the department has organised myriad promotional activities including the image promotion of Thai food products and food service business overseas through the Thai Select logo with restaurants and Thai food importers in 16 countries — the US, Australia, Japan, Canada, China, Poland, Germany, South Korea, Czech Republic, Spain, Denmark, Netherlands, France, Malaysia, the UK and Italy.

In addition, the department has organised promotional events for digital content and related businesses such as movies, games, animation and characters in the US, France, South Korea and Japan, and through online channels such as the American Film Market 2021 (Online) and Kidscreen Summit Virtual 2022.

The department organised content pitching events on Jan 27 during which 15 Thai content producers were able to negotiate deals with major streaming platforms such as Netflix, WeTV, iQIYI and Viu, generating more than 815 million baht in deals between Thai producers and foreign streaming platforms.

According to Mr Phusit, the department also has an entrepreneur mentor programme to create a soft power mindset through the “From Gen Z to be CEO” scheme and has developed 1,625 provincial entrepreneurs to become exporters.

In addition, the department has promoted the Thailand brand through the Thailand Trust Mark logo and product promotion with good design as well as public relations with 95 potential Thai products and services in the world market.

Mr Phusit said fruit is also one of the export targets under Thailand’s soft power development.

The department organised two online business matching (OBM) events for the Eastern fruit season with importers around the world in the first six months of this fiscal year, generating sales of 2.61 billion baht.

Other events will be organised in July for the southern and northern fruit seasons.

Two projects held this month comprise the “Taste of Thailand Fair” in Seoul, South Korea which runs until April 28 featuring popular products including mangoes, mangosteens, durians and pineapples, and a Thai food and fruit festival in Taipei, Taiwan that runs until today.

During May and June, the department is set to organise “Thai Fruit Golden Months” to promote Thai fruits in leading department stores in 13 cities in China.