Yingluck confirms Thai World Expo 2020 bid
- Published: 12/02/2013 at 03:29 PM
- Online news:
Thailand remains committed to its bid to host World Expo 2020, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said on Tuesday, discounting a report the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) planned to withdraw the application.
She said the report was incorrect. Thailand's bid to host the Expo was being implemented by the Tourism and Sports Ministry.
Ms Yingluck also rejected speculation that Thailand would withdraw to pave the way for Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), to host the exposition that year.
The media report on Monday said the Yingluck government is reluctant to put in the effort to secure the ruights to host Expo 2020 because of the high investment cost, estimated at up to 70 billion baht. The report said Thai lobbyists did not show up at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to seek support from international leaders for the event.
Ayutthaya governor Witthaya Piewpong confirmed that the province was ready to host World Expo 2020.
The province had already spent around 300 million baht in preparing its case. Another 10 billion baht would be needed if the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) chose Thailand as the 2020 host.
The four other countries bidding for Expo 2020 are Turkey, Russia, Brazil and the UAE. The decision will be announced in November this year.
The governor said the province had not been told Thailand would back off from the bidding. In his view, the investment would be worthwhile.
Thailand's proposal is being presented with the theme "Redefine Globalisation: Balanced Life, Sustainable Living".
Mr Witthaya said he was confident Thailand would be able to compete with other candidates. Ayutthaya was unique in offering different and interesting dimensions extending from the historical Ayutthaya period up to modern day.
The province was now known for its agriculture, industry and tourism and hosts World Heritage sites.
The province has made the preparations assigned by TCEB and discussed the project with 30,000 residents living in Bang Sai district, where the Expo was planned, and another 300,000 residents in the province who may be affected by such a huge event.
He said the province is also preparing young people with instruction iun foreign languages such as English, Chinese and Japanese and recently added Malayu, as around 40% of people in the Asean region speak variations of this language - mainly in Malaysia and Indonesia.