PHUKET: In what appears to be an attempt to break the deadlock over where to site the International Exhibition and Convention Center (ICEC), Phummisak Hongsyok has offered to earmark 200 rai of his recently announced Chao Fa City development for it.K. Phummisak, former Mayor of Phuket City and Managing Director of Anuphas & Sons, which owns the land where Chao Fah City will be built, told the Gazette today that his company was prepared to set aside the 200 rai, but that he was waiting for others in the private sector to help make the ICEC a reality, thereby cutting out all government involvement.
“We don’t want to invest in the project by ourselves,” he explained. “Ideally, we would prefer just to be the landlord, but we might invest in the project [in other ways]. Anuphas might itself become an investor, putting the land – which K. Phummisak values at 4 million baht a rai – into the project in place of cash.
“I have already discussed this with interested investors, but I have yet to hear any definite answers,” he added.”The 200 rai could accommodate facilities for about 10,000 conference delegates and have [plenty of] space for parking, depending on the design of building,” he said.
The ICEC project has ground to a halt since the provincial government, with Bangkok’s backing, announced last October that it had settled on Saphan Hin as the site, despite overwhelming public preference for Mai Khao.With the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization being controlled by Democrats, silence has fallen over the project, with the exception of a proposal in May by Phuket Governor Udomsak Usawarngkura that Koh Maphrao should be considered as a site for the center.
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