Jurin ready to don salesman's hat overseas
SONGKHLA: Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit says he is ready to roll up his sleeves and become a salesman to promote Thai goods in the global market as part of efforts to stimulate exports amid the US-Chinese trade spat.
He was speaking after a meeting with Thai commercial attaches from around the world, and commerce officials across the country in this southern province on Saturday.
Mr Jurin said he had told the commercial attaches to act as salesmen to look for potential buyers of Thai goods in the world market. He will also pitch in as a salesman himself, he said, adding the focus will be on promoting sales of farm produce such as paddy rice, rubber products, cassava, palm oil and fruits in major markets, including China, India, Turkey, New Zealand, the Middle East, the Philippines and Japan.
''I will assume the role of a salesman representing the country and lead a delegation of businessmen for trade talks. We will begin in China and proceed to India and Iraq,'' Mr Jurin said.
He said he had told the permanent secretary for commerce to seek information about local products which can be registered as geographical indication (GI) products, so communities can develop unique indigenous products to add value.
The promotion of GI products is in line with the government's policy to boost the grassroots economy, he said, adding the Department of Intellectual Property will send mobile units to local areas to speed up the registration of GI products, Mr Jurin said.
Meanwhile, Vichai Pochanakit, director-general of the Department of Internal Trade, said the department will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Airports of Thailand (AoT), airlines, retail outlets, the Thai Hotels Association, and export companies to help growers of longan in five southern provinces distribute their produce to buyers nationwide.
Under the MoU, AoT will earmark space at its airports for the display of fruits while four domestic airlines will allow buyers to load the fruit onto the planes free, Mr Vichai said, adding output of longans has increased 30-40% this year, and the MoUs will help release up to 3,000 tonnes of longan from the five southern provinces.