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Treasury Dept gets moving on ICEC

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Treasury Dept gets moving on ICEC | Thaiger

PHUKET: Nine months after a provincial government committee decided on a 350-rai plot of Treasury Department (TRD) land in Mai Khao as the preferred site for the Phuket International Convention and Exhibition Center (ICEC), the TRD has now decided the project needs prompt action.

Pitak Direksoonthorn, Director of the TRD’s State Property Administration Office, on Wednesday met Phuket Governor Niran Kalayanamit to discuss the ICEC and the project’s current status.

Renewed interest in the ICEC comes from TRD Director-General Phantip Suratin, who has ordered for the project to be pushed through to Cabinet for approval before she retires in September, Khun Pitak explained.

However, despite the 350-rai site in Mai Khao being chosen in October, K. Pitak last week said 153 rai of TRD land at Tah Chat Chai had now been selected for the ICEC instead.

Thamrong Thongtan, chief of the Phuket TRD office, said that the 153 rai at Tah Chat Chai had been issued a separate title from the 2,800 rai of TRD land that borders Sirinath National Park.

K. Thamrong explained that issuing a separate title was necessary to ensure the ICEC can be built at the site as Cabinet had expressed their intention to expand national parks in Thailand. He added that he had already spoken to national park officials about the issue.

K. Pitak, who is chairman of the TRD’s committee for the project, said, “We will move forward with this project as quickly as possible.

“During this visit [to Phuket], we will spend about a week surveying the land and studying the details of prospective plans before creating a summary to submit to the Treasury Minister to hand to the Cabinet for approval,” he said.

“We recommended to the governor that the ICEC should not host large industrial trade shows because Phuket is a tourism destination that will have a lot more conventions than exhibitions, so the exhibition area should be ‘medium size’ while the biggest convention room should have a capacity of 6,000 people,” he added.

However, despite all the work done by companies that have drawn up plans to build an ICEC in Phuket, K. Pitak said that it had yet to be decided whether the facility will be built by a private company or by the TRD itself. “We must wait for Cabinet to decide,” he said.

In the meantime, proposals from other companies were welcome, he said.

On another note K. Pitak mentioned that while in Phuket he and his TRD committee will also survey a treasury land plot at the Deep Sea Port at Ao Makham that a private middle-eastern company has eyed for development into a “free-trade zone”.

 

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