Soft Power Act, creative agency 'in the works'

Soft Power Act, creative agency 'in the works'

The government will soon draft a Soft Power Act and set up the Thailand Creative Content Agency (Thacca) to promote the nation's soft power, said the deputy chairman of the national committee on soft power development, Paetongtarn Shinawatra.

The statement was part of the Pheu Thai Party leader's special lecture given during the "Thailand 2024: Beyond Red Ocean" seminar on Wednesday, under the topic "Soft Power: The Great Challenger".

Soft power, said Ms Paetongtarn, signifies the country's ability to influence others without forced pressure.

People now understand that soft power can be developed from many preexisting products, said Ms Paetongtarn.

As such, there is always space for the country's soft power to be further developed.

Ms Paetongtarn cited the American political scientist Joseph Nye, who wrote in a book he published in 2004 that "good" soft power relies on strong cultural resources, political values, and foreign affairs policies.

Turning Thailand's cultural resources into forms of soft power is now one of the government's main missions, she said.

Ms Paetongtarn gave the example of a former government led by the now-dissolved Thai Rak Thai Party two decades ago, which had succeeded with its One Tambon, One Product policy and the establishment of the Thailand Creative & Design Centre.

The current government plans to top up this success by pursuing all elements, including the Soft Power Act, the One Family, One Soft Power (Ofos) project, and active foreign affairs policies, to promote Thailand's soft power.

Ms Paetongtarn said the Soft Power Act will include the development of Thacca. Thacca will have 12 sub-committees focusing on topics including fashion, books, movies, TV series, festivals, food, design, tourism, games, music, arts and sports. Each sub-committee will have representatives from their respective sectors.

The Soft Power Act is expected to be completed next year, she said.

Regarding Ofos, Ms Paetongtarn said the policies aimed to increase family incomes to 200,000 baht a year, or about 16,000 baht a month for at least one person in the family.

She expressed confidence this rate of income can help some families escape poverty.

A "One Community, One Thai Delicacy Chef" programme will also be included in the Ofos policy, with the target of providing training for at least 70,000 people nationwide to become skilled chefs of Thai food.

The last task is to work closely with the foreign affairs and commerce ministries to promote Thai culture and products abroad, Ms Paetongtarn said.

"We will use soft power to make the Thai identity visible on the global stage," she said.

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