PHUKET TOWN: The organizers of a seminar to discuss the plans for turning Phuket into a “Cyberport and International City” have issued an invitation to all interested parties to attend the high-level meeting next Wednesday (June 14) at the Pearl Hotel in Phuket Town. Seventy seats will be allocated to members of the public, on a first-come, first-served basis. Speakers will include Deputy Prime Minister Trairong Suwankiri; Science, Technology and Environment Minister Arthit Ourairat; and Transport and Communications Minister Suthep Thaugsuban. Thaweesak Koanantakwol, director of the state-run National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC), which is one of the seminar organizers, said the plan is for the Cyberport project to be modeled along the lines of Malaysia’s Multimedia Supercorridor and a similar project in Bangalore, India. The purpose of the seminar, K. Thaweesak said, is to provide general information about the Cyberport concept, to discuss possibilities, and to seek support from residents of Phuket. The main topics to be discussed will be Phuket’s strengths and weaknesses in light of its ambition to become an IT city, as well as case studies from neighboring countries. The schedule for the day is as follows: 8.00- 8.45: Registration. 9.00-9.30: Welcome speeches by Dr Trairong Suwankiri, Deputy Prime Minister, and Dr Arthit Ourairat, Minister of Science, Technology and Environment. 9.30-9.45: Welcome remarks by Dr Chira Hongladarom, host of the Channel 11 TV show “Welcome to the New Century”. 9.45-10.10: Special presentation – “If Phuket is an international city” by Dr Pairat Thatchayapong, director of the National Information Technology Committee (NITC). 10.10-10.35: Special presentation – “Phuket: IT and Cyberport” by Dr Pichet Durongwaerojana, director of the Bangkok-based E-Commerce Center. 10.35-10.50: Coffee break. 10.50-11.55: Panel discussion on “Phuket, International City and Cyberport” Panelists: Phuket Governor Charnchai Soontharamut; Sanrasern Wongcha-oom, secretary of the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB); Pradech Phayakvichien, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT); and former Senator Vichit Na Ranong. 11.55-12.30: Question-and-answer session. 12.30-13.30: Lunch. 13.30-14.15: Special presentation by Dr. Thaweesak Koanantakwol, director of NECTEC; and Jakamon Pasookvanich, deputy secretary of the Board of Investment (BOI). 14.15- 15.30: Panel discussion on “The Path to Becoming a cyberport” Panelists will include representatives of the Phuket Chamber of Commerce, plus Phuket-based Thai and foreign business people. This will be followed by discussion of “Phuket and how well equipped it is”. Panelists will be Thongchai Yongjaroen, director of the Telephone Organization of Thailand; Teerapong Soothinont, director of the Communications Authority of Thailand; and Dr Boonmak Sirinaowakul, Secretary to the Prime Minister’s Office. 15.30-15.55: Coffee break. 15.55-16.25: Question-and-answer session. 16.25-16.45: Closing speech by Suthep Thaugsuban, Minister of Transport and Communications.
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