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Four Provinces to Be Promoted as Gateway Cities to ASEAN

March 10, 2014 Destination Thailand No Comments Email Email

The Ministry of Culture is promoting four provinces as gateway cities to ASEAN, with the use of cultural dimensions for community development, in preparation for the ASEAN Community.
The four provinces include Chiang Rai and Tak in the North, Sa Kaeo in the East, and Songkhla in the South. They have been selected as pilot provinces for the project in the 2014 fiscal year.

Permanent Secretary for Culture Preecha Gunteeya said that the four provinces are regarded as frontline cities connecting with neighboring countries. The Ministry of Culture has allocated 10 million baht for each province to carry out this project, in response to its policy of ASEAN Cultural Gateway.

For example, Chiang Khong district of Chiang Rai will focus on promoting its community culture, especially that of the Thai Lue tribal group. A tower will be built to attract visitors to the learning of local art and culture. Tak will establish a tourist information center in Mae Sot district to provide information about Thai culture and ASEAN culture.

The Culture Offices of these provinces have been assigned to conduct studies on impacts of ASEAN connectivity on local communities, as well as the potential of various communities in terms of community and human resources and cultural tourism sites.

There are currently 32 border cities in Thailand and they are located in various districts. In mapping out the development plan for these frontline cities, the Ministry of Culture emphasizes efforts to develop their cultural potential by giving top priority to the benefit of local communities.

Meanwhile, six educational institutions in Thailand are starting to join other ASEAN partners in working out ASEAN culture programs for ASEAN students. The six educational institutions include Chulalongkorn University, Silpakorn University, Sripatum University, Mahasarakham University, University of Phayao, and Bunditpatanasilpa Institute.

A pilot project will be carried out by organizing a three-month course in ASEAN culture before it is developed as a part of the basic curriculum.

Today almost all universities in Thailand have offered courses in ASEAN. They have also set up ASEAN study centers in a move to prepare their personnel and students for the ASEAN Community, which will be in place in late 2015.

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