Phuket-Port Blair “sister city’ status under threat

PHUKET CITY: Phuket Governor Udomsak Uswarangkura will move to revoke the “sister city” status of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands if trade proposals to be discussed next month fail to bear fruit.

Governor Udomsak told the Gazette that the “sister-city” relationship, ratified by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two parties on June 29 last year, should serve to promote international understanding and strengthen ties through tourism, education, culture, urban development, commerce and investment.

“We have agreements between Thailand and India at both national and provincial levels. At the national level we have a Free Trade Agreement, but at the provincial level Phuket has had to deal with Port Blair in the areas agreed in the MoU,” Gov Udomsak said.

“At the moment, there is private sector business between the two regions but there are as yet no public sector deals,” he added.

However, the Governor said that discussions have so far been ineffective as Port Blair officials have to wait on agreement from the Indian central government in New Delhi before making any decisions.

“I or a Vice-Governor will visit India again next month in order to establish concrete co-operation between Phuket and Port Blair. We will, however, be going to New Delhi and Chennai, not to Port Blair,” he said.

“We [as representatives of Phuket] have to present specific proposals to New Delhi for consideration. If our proposals are successful, Phuket and Port Blair will be able to start implementing projects through the provinces’ Chambers of Commerce.

“If our proposals are unsuccessful and no progress in co-operation between Phuket and Port Blair is made, I will give notice to cancel the “sister-cities” agreement.”

Phuket News

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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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