Rapper seen as crucial for mango exports

Rapper seen as crucial for mango exports

Danupha 'Milli' Khanatheerakul holds a plate of mango and sticky rice during a performance at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival 2022. (Photo: Coachella)
Danupha 'Milli' Khanatheerakul holds a plate of mango and sticky rice during a performance at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival 2022. (Photo: Coachella)

The Commerce Ministry looks set to capitalise on the popularity of Danupha "Milli" Khanatheerakul to boost shipments of Thai fruit and food.

According to Malika Boonmeetrakool Mahasook, adviser to Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit, the Commerce Ministry admired teenage rap sensation Milli at this year's Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival when she ended her show by eating mango sticky rice on stage.

The ministry is ready to support fruit and food exports, and promote soft power to the world, she said.

"The commerce minister himself has vowed to continue promoting the digital content business as a key industry to drive economic growth this year and upgrade it as a hub for the sector," said Ms Malika. "He has also assigned responsible agencies to facilitate the promotion of soft power and activities on the international stage, given Thailand's strength in unique culture, lifestyle, food, Thainess, and quality of tourism services, which are second to none in the world."

According to Ms Malika, the commerce minister has also directed the International Trade Promotion Department to design promotional activities throughout this year, starting with content pitching events on Jan 27, in which 15 Thai content producers were allowed to negotiate deals with major streaming platforms such as Netflix, WeTV, iQIYI and Viu.

The first content pitching event helped generate more than 815 million baht worth of deals between Thai producers and foreign streaming platforms.

The content that draws the most interest from foreign platforms are TV series, movies, and animation series, reflecting the fact that Thailand's digital content industry still has potential growth.

On top of content pitching events, the International Trade Promotion Department will also promote Thailand's digital content in other formats such as exhibitions, online channels, networking activities and seminars.

"In 2022, the Commerce Ministry is committed to promoting soft power in the world market via promotional activities and networking development," said Ms Malika. "The ministry is focusing on the promotion of digital content exports in addition to key mainstays such as rice, palm oil, rubber, food and industrial products."

According to the Commerce Ministry's figures, Thailand exported 150,570 tonnes of glutinous rice worth 3.10 billion baht in 2021, down 25.73% from a year before.

For the first two months of this year, Thailand shipped 29,312 tonnes of glutinous rice worth 594.56 million baht, a year-on-year rise of 10.98%. Key markets included China, the US, Laos, Vietnam and Japan.

For the whole of 2021, Thailand exported 4.44 billion baht worth of mango, 2.93 billion baht of which was fresh mango, up 50.25% from 2020, and 1.50 billion baht was canned mango, up 21.12% from a year before.

For the first two months of this year, mango exports totalled 403.51 million baht, 177.96 million baht of which was fresh mango, down 38.13% from the same period of last year, and 225.55 million baht was from canned mango, up 21.78%.

Thailand's top ten markets for fresh mangoes are Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, Myanmar, Laos, Singapore, Russia, Vietnam, the United Arab Emirates, and China.


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