Connect with us

Phuket

Port Blair talks end in optimism

Published

 on 

PORT BLAIR: Talks between a visiting Thai delegation and their counterparts in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands ended with no decisions but on a distinctly positive note. The 63-strong Thai delegation, including local and central government representatives, private sector figures and naval personnel, and led by Phuket Governor Udomsak Usawarangkura, visited the islands’ capital, Port Blair, from Friday to Sunday. Gov Udomsak told the Gazette that all issues discussed would be on tabled again during higher-level talks at the rescheduled Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand Economic Cooperation (Bimstec) talks to be held in Bangkok in July. But although the talks reached no absolute conclusion, an accord between the Port Blair and Phuket administrations was signed on June 12. Gov Udomsak and his opposite number from the islands’ administration, S Hemachandran, promised to work more closely in areas of common interest, such as tourism, fisheries, trade and investment, natural resources and environmental protection. Phuket’s governor offered an upbeat appraisal of the three-day meeting: “Our local-level talks on issues previously discussed by our two countries’ prime ministers were productive,” he said. Gov Udomsak said that Thailand and India, which owns the islands, would share skills and knowledge on information and communications technology, and that Indian experts would be invited to work in Phuket under the aegis of the Software Industry Promotion Agency (Sipa). He added that scholarships may be offered to students from Port Blair to study tourism management at the Prince of Songkhla University’s Phuket Campus. Transport links between the islands were also discussed. Following a free trade agreement signed last October by Thailand and India, the number of chartered or scheduled flights between the Andamans and Phuket is due to increase. But Busara Dusadeeisriyawong, Sales and Marketing Manager for Phuket Air, admitted, “It’s just not cost-effective to fly there yet because there is virtually no market [at the moment]. It doesn’t follow that more frequent flights will immediately result in increased numbers of passengers. She cited landing fees at Port Blair as a major obstacle. “Landing fees at Port Blair are very high, roughly 80,000 baht, compared with around 20,000 baht in Phuket. “The aircraft we [Phuket Air] would use for the Phuket-Port Blair route carry 64 passengers. Even on a full flight we would still be paying over 1,000 baht per passenger in landing fees,” she concluded. Remaining optimistic, Gov Udomsak said that he hoped to see the Andaman and Nicobar Islands becoming established as part of the Phuket sailing, diving and luxury cruising itinerary.

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Road deaths12 mins ago

UPDATE: Chon Buri police couldn’t find victim of car crash… on the back seat

Protests26 mins ago

‘Democracy Must Go On:’ Protestors have three demands for Thailand’s government

Thailand47 mins ago

Thailand News Today | Opposition to Thailand govt hosting former Sri Lanka president

Sponsored8 hours ago

BKFC THAILAND 3: Moment of the truth set for September 3

Bangkok50 mins ago

Bangkok OAP arrested after slapstick armed robbery of gold shop

Phuket1 hour ago

Phuket officials say no human trafficking cases found in island province

Hong Kong2 hours ago

Hong Kong seizes 20 million baht of heroin hidden in Thai kickboxing pads

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Crime3 hours ago

Nigerian and Vietnamese couple found dead linked to drug trade

Thailand3 hours ago

Thailand workers could earn over 100,000 baht in Saudi Arabia

Chon Buri4 hours ago

Mountain B victims to be compensated by Thailand govt

Pattaya4 hours ago

Free noodles for beach cleaners after Pattaya Music Festival mess

Thailand4 hours ago

CCSA to give thumbs up to 4am licensing in Thailand next week

Tourism5 hours ago

Lots of Hong Kongers are searching for flights to Bangkok

Chon Buri6 hours ago

Death toll of Mountain B fire rises to 17

Economy6 hours ago

Bangkok No.1 in Asia-Pacific for MICE destinations

Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 hours ago

Covid-19 “hospitel” isolation in Thailand to end September 1

Thailand11 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism1 year ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending