Andamans, Phuket set for closer links

PHUKET TOWN: A signing ceremony establishing the Phuket Chamber of Commerce (PCC) and the Andaman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) as “Chambers of Friendship” will take place on November 30, it was announced today. Pamuke Achariyachai, Chairman of the PCC, made the announcement at a press conference today at The Metropole hotel in Phuket Town. At his side was his opposite number from the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Mohammed Jedwet. “The Phuket Chamber of Commerce and the ACCI will become Chambers of Friendship very soon,” said K. Pamuke. “Links between Phuket and the Andamans are progressing,” he said, noting that initial discussion took place in July this year. “Mr Jedwet decided to enter into trading cooperation [with Phuket] because of the similarity between our islands and after seeing for himself how high-class a resort [island] we have here,” said K. Pamuke. He also pointed out that PM Thaksin Shinawatra had recently broached the possibility of a “Sister Cities” agreement between Phuket and the Andamans. Tourism expertise and transport links will not be the only transactions. Products ranging from clothes to cement, which can be transported more easily from Phuket than from mainland India, will also be traded. Responding to criticism by some Andaman Islands NGOs that links with Phuket might encourage prostitution and Aids, K. Pamuke said, “They [the ACCI] understand that prostitution is endemic to all countries.” He added that the ACCI understood that the people of Phuket, along with most tourists, are “appalled” by prostitution.

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