PHUKET: Processions of up to 60 cars will be seen on Phuket’s roads during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation gathering, the Deputy Commander of Phuket Provincial Police, Pol Col Decha Butnampetch, has told the Gazette. He said police will be looking after the security and safety of up to 1,000 visitors during the Apec meetings from August 14-23. The dignitaries from 21 member countries will stay and work at the Phuket Arcadia Beach Resort at Karon, where Public Relations Manger Panit Khongmak said, “We are confident we are 100% prepared for Apec.” Traffic jams were a concern for police, said Col Decha, adding that people could contact the Phuket Provincial Police if they had any urgent information. “Phuket has narrow roads and it’s the rainy season so there may be some delays when delegates venture out,” Col Decha explained. “We’d like to ask for cooperation from local people in dealing with the traffic and apologize in advance for any inconvenience. “However,” he added, “we have prepared everything as best we can.” During working sessions, senior Apec officials will be reviewing operations and planning future co-operative action on trade, technology, electronic commerce and dealings with other regions of the world. Lertkiat Vongpuaphan, Chief of the Phuket Provincial Governor’s Office, said the Apec gathering was important because it would promote Phuket and Thailand. A good impression would mean that the Apec visitors would return. As a welcoming greeting, an arch decorated in traditional Sino-Portuguese style had been erected on Thepkrasattri Rd. “It’s also timed to coincide with our national Mother’s Day, so there will be many lights and decorations around the island,” he said. Preparations had included police raids on fake goods retailers and warehouses. “We have been emphasizing checks on fake goods because these damage Thailand’s reputation,” K. Lertkiat said. Products from the One Tambon One Product scheme in Southern region will be on show for the delegates. Perhaps appropriately for the rainy season, the mascot for the Apec meeting is a lobster wearing a snorkel. However, the symbol actually promotes the Phuket lobster and seafood festival, which is running at the same time.
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