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Phuket inks rice deal with Maha Sarakham

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PHUKET: Trade representatives from Phuket and Maha Sarakham have entered into bilateral negotiations centered primarily on the supply of scented jasmine rice from the Northeastern Thai province.

Marking the start of a promising commercial alliance, the development was highlighted by the signing of a trade memorandum at the Pearl Hotel in Phuket Town on Tuesday.

The general terms of the agreement outline the nature of future trading of the staple, in which producers and distributors in Maha Sarakham agree to supply scented jasmine rice and related products to buyers in Phuket on a regular and contracted basis.

A secondary, more general clause of the agreement states that signatories agree to strengthen business links between the provinces by opting to exchange and trade other products and services.

Among those attending the signing ceremony were representatives from the commercial and cooperatives offices of both provinces, the Phuket agricultural cooperatives office and about 10 private traders.

Representing suppliers from Maha Sarakham were the Borabu Cooperative, the Khok Ko Germinated Brown Rice (GABA) Group and the Gao Noi, Moo 2 village rice center – a community enterprise.

Presiding over the meeting, Maha Sarakham Vice Governor Suthinan Bunmi explained that the drafting of the memorandum was complementary to a government project, funded from the current fiscal year, aimed at assisting the development of rice-market operators in Maha Sarakham.

“Maha Sarakham realizes the importance and benefits of integrating and working with partners. By signing this agreement, we are building a business network and alliance that will foster the exchange of trade knowledge and experience.

“Moreover, [we are] creating a product distribution network between our two provinces that will open trade and develop and link businesses, enabling agricultural institutions and other private sector organizations to be strong, self reliant and sustainable,” he explained.

The officials and representatives from Isarn were among tens of thousands in the past two weeks who had travelled from across the country to Phuket – most of whom had come to partake in the 28th National Youth Games, held on the island from May 24 to June 5.

In the closing days of the grand event, Maha Sarakham was announced as the host of next year’s Games.

— Steven Layne

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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We look at the recent changes made by the Australian and Indian governments to except control over the world’s biggest social media platforms. India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social. There is now an open battle between the rise of social media platforms and the governments and ‘old’ media that have been able to maintain a certain level of control over the ‘message’ for the last century. Who will win?

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told. The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

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“The rules signal greater willingness by countries around the world to rein in big tech firms such as Google, Facebook and Twitter that the governments fear have become too powerful with little accountability.”

India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social.

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The companies are also being made to publish a compliance report each month with details about how many complaints they’ve received and the action they took.

They’ll also be required to remove ‘some’ types of content including “full or partial nudity,” any “sexual act” or “impersonations including morphed images”

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told.

The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

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When the airlines, in particular, were asking the government to put their hands in their pockets for some relief funding in August last year, it was genuinely thought that international tourists would be coming back for the high season in December and January. At the very least local tourists and expats would head back to the skies over the traditional holiday break. And surely the Chinese would be back for Chinese New Year?

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Domestically, the hotel business saw 6 million room nights in the government’s latest stimulus campaign fully redeemed. But the air ticket quota of 2 million seats still has over 1.3 million seats unused. Local tourists mostly skipped flights and opted for destinations within driving distance of their homes.

As for international tourism… well that still seems months or years away, even now.

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