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ASEAN Forum Magazine http://aseanforum.asia ASEAN Forum Magazine Website Sat, 07 Apr 2018 04:45:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.24 Thailand Launches Buy With Confidence Programme http://aseanforum.asia/thailand-launches-buy-with-confidence-programme/ http://aseanforum.asia/thailand-launches-buy-with-confidence-programme/#comments Thu, 05 Apr 2018 07:57:52 +0000 http://aseanforum.asia/?p=2641 ...]]> Ministry of Commerce joins hands with partners to encourage leading jewelry shops and businesses to participate in the “Buy With Confidence” program that will issue certifications to ensure the quality and standard of Thai gem and jewelry with the objective to boost confidence among Thai and international consumers.

Minister of Commerce Sontirat Sontijirawong states that the gem and jewelry industry is one of the key industries in the country, ranking third in exports after automotive and computers, generating 435 billion baht in exports and 533 billion baht in domestic trading, accounting for nearly one trillion baht of turnover or 6.3 percent of the country’s GDP. Foreign tourists are also key buyers of gem and jewelry products with approximately 35.38 million tourists visiting Thailand in 2017. Among this number, Chinese tourists accounted for the largest group totaling around 10 million tourists.

“Ministry of Commerce has assigned The Gem and Jewelry Institute of Thailand (Public Organization) or GIT to carry out the Buy With Confidence (BWC) program to boost confidence to consumers and tourists. The program is key to promote Thailand’s position as the World’s Gem and Jewelry Hub according to government policy through the certification issued by GIT. The project is achieved with the cooperation of many organizations, from the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports (the Department of Tourism and the Tourism Authority of Thailand), Office of the Consumer Protection Board, and the Tourist Police Bureau. The ministry anticipates that this program will increase confidence for consumers as well as adds more opportunities to businesses to sell certified gem and jewelry to local and foreign tourists. BWC is expected to help generate an additional 10 billion baht in sales of cash and carry goods to foreign tourists which will result in the total sales of gem and jewelry in this category reaching 45 billion baht, a 30 percent increase.”

The Commerce Minister emphasized that “GIT’s facilities include a world-class gem and jewelry laboratory that is supervised by the Thai government. Staffed with highly experienced gemologists and equipped with the world’s most advanced instruments, GIT’s services are trustworthy and widely recognized in the worldwide industry. Consumers can be confident that every piece of jewelry certified by GIT is trustworthy and is qualified according to the accompanying Gem and Jewelry Certification document. The institute has selected gem, gold and jewelry shops and businesses that pass the qualifying standards to participate as members of the program to receive gems and jewelry certifications from GIT as well as other numerous benefits. Currently nearly 140 companies have applied for membership to this program, with 68 passing the initial standard who will be awarded certificates today. Within 2018, GIT aims to expand membership of the BWC program to 500 companies, targeting cities such as Bangkok, Chanthaburi and other key tourist destinations.”

Duangkamol Jiambutr, Director of GIT adds that, “For buyers looking to purchase quality products and jewelry, they will be more at ease to discover the BWC sticker that is displayed in front of shops qualified for this program. The QR code may be scanned for details about the shop, then, more QR codes on the products may also be scanned for the certification on specific pieces of jewelry. Consumers can ask for physical copies of the certification from the shop to match the slogan of the program: Buy With Confidence, Look for GIT certificate to ensure the products on sale and Buy With Confidence.”

Should any issues arise between buyers and shops in the BWC program, buyers may make a complaint at hotline 1166 (Office of the Consumer Protection Board) 1155 (Tourist Police Bureau) or 1569 (Department of Internal Trade) which are partners of the institute.

“We have a strict standard in selecting businesses as members of the program, and consumers can trust that products with the BWC symbol matches international standards according to GIT certification. If any problems arise, partners of GIT are ready to assist buyers immediately,” says Jiambutr.

For more information on “Buy With Confidence (BWC),” visit http://bwc.git.or.th

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Call for Exhibitors for the 62nd Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair http://aseanforum.asia/call-for-exhibitors-for-the-62nd-bangkok-gems-jewelry-fair/ http://aseanforum.asia/call-for-exhibitors-for-the-62nd-bangkok-gems-jewelry-fair/#comments Sun, 01 Apr 2018 05:10:02 +0000 http://aseanforum.asia/?p=2639 ...]]> Ministry of Commerce’s Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP), announces that the 62nd edition of the Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair will take place from September 7-11, 2018 at Challenger Hall 1-3, IMPACT Muang Thong Thani, Bangkok, Thailand.

The Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair is one of the most anticipated trade shows that gathers over 20,000 businesspeople, buyers and sellers in the gems and jewelry industry from 130 countries worldwide. The fair is a rare opportunity for businesses to trade with partners, manufacturers, distributors and exporters from Thailand and other countries while serving as a platform for large companies as well as SMEs to expand their customer base to international markets.

Exhibitors who are interested in participating in the 62nd Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair may inquire for more information and apply at +662 507 8392-3, email bkkgems@ditp.go.th or visit www.bkkgems.com


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TAT Supports Thai-Korea Tourism Mega Fam Trip http://aseanforum.asia/tat-supports-thai-korea-tourism-mega-fam-trip/ http://aseanforum.asia/tat-supports-thai-korea-tourism-mega-fam-trip/#comments Sat, 24 Mar 2018 15:49:57 +0000 http://aseanforum.asia/?p=2634 ...]]> The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) provided its full support behind a bilateral ‘Tourism Mega Fam Trip’, organised by the Korea Association of Travel Agents (KATA) in cooperation with the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA).

The trip brought 23 travel agents and five media members from South Korea for tourism product updates, business and trade meetings, as well as to explore the Amazing Thailand’s ‘Open to the New Shades’ tourism experiences in Bangkok and Pattaya, from 22-26 March.

The trip was organised in honour of the official 60th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between South and the Kingdom of Thailand. It also marks the second anniversary of the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on tourism cooperation between TAT and KATA.


In the morning session, ATTA organised a special trade meeting while TAT hosted a welcome dinner in Bangkok on 23 March. On the same day, there was also a KATA-ATTA-TAT joint meeting on marketing cooperation development with wide ranging discussions on a variety of important topics including tourism-related issues, trade cooperation framework and planning, development of safety and security procedures for tourists, and exchange on tourism-related information.

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said the event continued to strengthen bilateral ties that bind the two nation’s tourism industries and continue to drive two-way travel between the Asian nations.

“On 1 October, 2018, the Kingdom of Thailand and the Republic of Korea will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries. Both sides are holding several events and activities throughout this year to commemorate this auspicious occasion, including this ‘Tourism Mega Fam Trip’.

He added that the five-day trip is expected to lead to closer cooperation between KATA and ATTA paving the way for additional collaboration in several key areas of tourism that could help drive travel between the two countries.

Last year, Thailand welcomed more than 35 million tourist arrivals, of which 1.7 million were South Korean nationals representing a year-on-year increase of 16%. South Korea is also a favourite destination for Thai nationals with over 426,000 visiting South Korea in 2017.

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Sontirat Sontijirawong Opens Bangkok Gems 61 http://aseanforum.asia/sontirat-sontijirawong-opens-bangkok-gems-61/ http://aseanforum.asia/sontirat-sontijirawong-opens-bangkok-gems-61/#comments Wed, 21 Feb 2018 11:39:10 +0000 http://aseanforum.asia/?p=2623 ...]]> The Ministry of Commerce’s Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) officially opens the 61st Bangkok Gems and Jewelry Fair (BGJF) under the theme “Heritage & Craftsmanship,” highlighting Thailand’s cultural heritage and the exquisite craftsmanship of Thai artisans while setting the stage for local and international companies to engage in trade negotiations.

The Ministry of Commerce is confident that the fair will play a vital role in continuously increasing exports of gems and jewelry in 2018.

Sontirat Sontijirawong, Minister of Commerce reveals that the gems and jewelry industry is a high-potential industry that is key to the Thai economy. The strength of the industry lies throughout the value chain, from sourcing, manufacturing, to trading, with a workforce of approximately 1.2 million from upstream to downstream. Thus, the government is committed to implementing measures to ensure continuous growth of the industry while setting a goal of propelling Thailand to become ‘the World’s Jewelry Hub’.

BGJF61 Opening ceremony

“The Ministry of Commerce has carried out policies to promote the growth of the gems and jewelry industry in order to increase the competitive edge for businesses while seeking new market channels and developing new products that cater to latest industry trends. Bangkok Gems and Jewelry Fair is a key platform that offers an opportunity for Thai companies, both large and small, to do business with high-potential businesspeople and buyers from around the world, learn about consumers’ needs, and expand their business networks and exchange knowledge with others,” says the Minister of Commerce.

The 61st Bangkok Gems and Jewelry Fair is held under the theme “Heritage & Craftsmanship,” highlighting Thailand’s cultural heritage and promoting the exquisite craftsmanship of Thai artisans to become more widely recognized. Thai jewelry is both skillfully crafted and full of creativity. To align with the government’s “Thailand 4.0” and “Creative Economy” initiatives, the Fair Organizer is presenting new ideas in exhibition zones, from The New Faces featuring jewelry products from leading SMEs across the country with over 120 new exhibitors, the Innovation and Design Zone (IDZ) featuring innovative products from start-ups as well as jewelry that utilize new techniques, to the The Niche Showcase featuring the latest trends in jewelry for niche markets.

Moreover, insightful seminars and consultation workshops from Thai and international experts are offered as well as a mobile gems analyzing unit from the Gem and Jewelry Institute of Thailand (Public Organization) or GIT and other world-leading institutes.

BGJF61 Opening ceremony

In 2017, the gems and jewelry industry was ranked third exporting industry in Thailand after automotive and computers. Last year’s export totaled nearly 13 billion USD, and when excluding unwrought gold, the industry saw an increase of 2.25% compared to 2016 which was the first time in the past three years.

“The outlook for gems and jewelry exports in 2018 is positive as trading partners of Thailand are recovering from stagnant growth. The Ministry expects that this edition of Bangkok Gems and Jewelry Fair will open new opportunities for Thai companies. Combined with government measures such as tax exemptions, the fair is certain to boost trade in this industry while propelling Thailand to become one of the world’s gems and jewelry trading hub,” says Mr. Sontirat.

The Ministry expects that this edition will welcome 20,000 visitors from 130 countries, generating over THB 2 billion sales. Around 900 leading companies in Thailand and abroad are participating in the fair, occupying over 2,000 booths.

The 61st Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair takes place from February 21-25, 2018 at Challenger Hall 1-3, IMPACT Muang Thong Thani. The fair opens for trade negotiations during February 21-23, 10 am – 6 pm and opens for general public on February 24, 10 am – 6 pm and February 25, 10 am – 5 pm For more information and pre-registration, please visit www.bkkgems.com.

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Thailand MoC to Host 61st Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair http://aseanforum.asia/thailand-moc-to-host-61st-bangkok-gems-jewelry-fair/ http://aseanforum.asia/thailand-moc-to-host-61st-bangkok-gems-jewelry-fair/#comments Fri, 09 Feb 2018 08:30:35 +0000 http://aseanforum.asia/?p=2614 ...]]> Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce’s Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP), announces its readiness to hold the 61st edition of the Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair (BGJF) under the theme of ‘Heritage & Craftsmanship’, which highlights Thailand’s cultural heritage and the exquisite craftsmanship of Thai artisans that is internationally renowned. The 61st BGJF is expected to welcome over 20,000 buyers and visitors from more than 130 countries across the globe.

DITP Director-General, Ms Chantira Jimreivat Vivatrat, reveals that DITP is ready to hold the 61st Bangkok Gems and Jewelry Fair from February 21 to 25, 2018 as a prominent stage to promote the capabilities and support large Thai manufacturers as well as SMEs to expand their businesses to international markets while networking and trading with partners from Thailand and other countries.

Bangkok Gems

DITP Director-General, Ms Chantira Jimreivat Vivatrat

“In 2017, the gems and jewellery industry was ranked third exporting industry in Thailand after automotive and computers and parts, with exports of gems and jewellery excluding unwrought gold increased by 2.25%, which was the first time for the industry to see growth in the past three years. Moreover, the outlook for 2018 is positive and the gems and jewellery industry remains a key part of the economy that generates income and adds value for Thailand,” says the DITP Director-General.

The 61st Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair will be held under the theme of “Heritage & Craftsmanship” that will highlight Thailand’s cultural heritage that is expressed in the creation of uniquely design jewellery that perfectly combines beautiful Thai designs with the demands of international consumers. For decades, Thai designers and artisans are renowned worldwide for their creativity, exquisite designs and creative jewellery pieces.

Highlights at the fair include inspirational activities and exhibitions as well as new trading opportunities, from The Niche Showcase that exhibits five niche jewellery trends, The New Faces that highlights the best of Thai SMEs from all regions, a showcase zone that will be greatly expanded this year, to exhibitions and workshops from The Jewellers, a group of designers who focus on creative and innovation jewellery-making. Moreover, educational seminars and one-on-one consulting services from experts will be on offer as well as a mobile gems analysing unit from GIT and other world-leading institutes.

“The 61st Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair offers an opportunity for participants to meet manufacturers, distributors and over 900 leading exporters from Thailand and other countries who will be exhibiting all categories of products in the gems and jewellery industry in over 2,200 booths, with exhibitors from countries such as the US, China, Japan, Hong Kong, India, Sri Lanka and ASEAN countries. DITP expects that this edition of the fair will generate over THB 2 billion in sales and see over 20,000 international buyers and visitors,” says the DITP Director-General.

The 61st Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair will take place from February 21-25, 2018 at Challenger Hall 1-3, IMPACT Muang Thong Thani. The fair opens for trade negotiations during February 21-23, 10am to 6pm and opens for the general public on February 24, 10 am to 6 pm and February 25, 10 am to 5pm.

For more information and pre-registration, please visit www.bkkgems.com or dial DITP Call Center 1169.

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World Ruby Forum 2017: the King of Gems http://aseanforum.asia/world-ruby-forum-2017-the-king-of-gems/ http://aseanforum.asia/world-ruby-forum-2017-the-king-of-gems/#comments Sun, 15 Oct 2017 08:28:10 +0000 http://aseanforum.asia/?p=2605 ...]]> The Gem and Jewelry Institute of Thailand (Public Organization) or GIT, under the supervision of the Ministry of Commerce, collaborated with private sectors to organize the World Ruby Forum 2017 on November 4, 2017 at Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok, to promote, raise awareness and create accurate understanding about ruby to worldwide audiences.

Rubywinner“The Gem and Jewelry Institute of Thailand or GIT is the core institution that promotes, supports and develops the capability for competition in the world market for the Thai gems and jewelry industry,” said Mrs. Duangkamol Jiambutr, Director of GIT. “We are collaborating with partners in the private and public sectors to organize the World Ruby Forum 2017 to promote, support, raise awareness and create accurate understanding about ruby to the general public, business owners in the gems and jewelry industry as well as those in the public and private sectors. With this event, organizers are aiming to establish ruby as Thailand’s most important exported gem and promote Thailand as the world’s leading gem and jewelry trading center.

GIT is collaborating with the Asian Institute of Gemological Sciences (AIGS), and the Association of Gemmology for France (AFG) to host the World Ruby Forum, which was announced during theInternational Gem and Jewelry Conference (GIT 2016). From then, GIT reached out to the Department of International Trade Promotion or DITP and business owners in the gemstones industry from across the country to form the first-ever World Ruby Forum 2017 committee that has the objective to promote Thailand’s image as the world’s most important center of gems and jewelry.

“Recently, GIT and our partners held the competition and showcase of the World’s Most Beautiful Rubies Contest which we have received great support from leading business owners across the country and other contestants that were sending in their most beautiful rubies to join this competition. Our honorable judges made the final decision about the winners. The award announcement ceremony and winning rubies showcase were hosted on September 6, 2017 in the 60th Bangkok Gems and Jewelry Fair. From this event, we would like people to recognize the value and beauty of ruby,” said the director of GIT.

“In order to promote and support the public and private sector’s initiative to establish Thailand as a leading gems and jewelry trading center, leading companies such as Beauty Gems, Veerasak Gems, Blue River Gems and Sant Enterprise are joining hands to show the country’s capability as leader of gems and jewelry through the show featuring the most beautiful rubies in the World’s Most Beautiful Ruby Awards. The show will highlight extravagant ruby jewelry worth over 3 billion baht from leading jewelry companies in Thailand that will put the spotlight on the beauty of rubies which are the ‘King of Gems’” said Mr. Suriyon Sriorathaikul, Board of Executive Committee of the Gem and Jewelry Institute of Thailand or GIT and chairman of the Gala Dinner Night to be held at the World Ruby Forum which will take place on November 4, 2017 at the Grand Ballroom, Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok.

The Ruby Heart of Love is another important activity to be held at the forum. This charity activity will feature 700 rubies that will be arranged in a heart shape, conveying the love and harmony of Thais, regardless of race, religion, gender or age, that joins together as one to remember the great kindness of His Majesty the Late King Bhumibol Adulyadej in the event of 70 years of reign as well as to celebrate Her Majesty Queen Sirikit’s 84th birthday.

The Ruby Heart of Love board will have the number 1 to 700 shaped as a heart. Those interested in giving can donate in any amount they wish and pick their number. Donors will be named in the book entitled “The Ruby Heart of Love Story” which will be compiled after the rubies have been made into the Ruby Heart of Love. This ruby will not be for sale, instead, it will be held as a national treasure and organizers plan to exhibit this ruby in leading museums worldwide to promote love and peace. Moreover, donations from this project will be given to the charity to develop medical equipment which was the last charity to receive patronage from His Majesty the Late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The funds received from this project are also expected to be given to charities in need worldwide to continue the King’s legacy of giving to the people.

Catch up with all the latest news about ruby or the “King of Gems” and witness the success of the forum, enjoy the glamorous fashion show with magnificent rubies on November 4, 2017 at the Grand Ballroom, Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok. For more information, please call +66 2634 4999 ext. 636-642. For registration, please visit www.git.or.th or www.worldrubyforum.com

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Thailand Hosts World Ruby Forum in Plan to Become Global Hub by 2020 http://aseanforum.asia/thailand-hosts-world-ruby-forum-in-plan-to-become-global-hub-by-2020/ http://aseanforum.asia/thailand-hosts-world-ruby-forum-in-plan-to-become-global-hub-by-2020/#comments Wed, 27 Sep 2017 10:05:49 +0000 http://aseanforum.asia/?p=2587 ...]]> Duangkamol Jiambutr, Director of the Gem and Jewelry Institute of Thailand (GIT)

Duangkamol Jiambutr, Director of the Gem and Jewelry Institute of Thailand (GIT)

The Thai government has set the target of making the country the world’s gem and jewelry hub by the year 2020, said a leading industry player in an exclusive interview with ASEAN Forum.

“The Thai gem and jewelry industry is very important for the Thai economy,” said Duangkamol Jiambutr, Director of the Gem and Jewelry Institute of Thailand (GIT). “The Thai Government will promote Thailand as the hub for world gems and jewellery industry by 2020.”

The industry is ranked third, after automobiles/autoparts and electronics, in terms of exports accounting for 3 to 5 % of the GDP, or some $10 to $15 billion dollars depending on your source.

When the economy is not doing well, people buy high value jewelry for investment

The main exports markets are China and Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, the US and the EU. However, Jiambutr believes the GIT has an important role to play in promoting cooperation across the ASEAN region, and in particular within the CLMV (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) countries.

“Myanmar is very strong in gem stones, Laos in silver and Cambodia with certain gemstones,” she said. “We cooperate with them,” citing the gems tasting laboratory in Myanmar as an example of how knowledge and information was being exchanged.

Thailand’s particular strength is in colour stones, and particularly rubies.

“We are very strong in colour stones and the trend is on the up, particularly in China,” said Jiambutr.

In addition to the revenue created, the industry benefits other sectors including tourism and medical care.

According to Jiambutr, part of the strength of the sector is that jewelry serves a dual function; first as an investment and second as a luxury. “When the economy is not doing well, people buy high value jewelry for investment,” she said.

The GIT is a government body that sits under the Ministry of Commerce. It has a multi-faceted role, the main one of which is as the country’s gems tasting centre, approved by the World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO). Accordingly, it provides certificates, or reports, to guarantee the quality of the gems purchased “in accordance with international standards,” Jiambutr said.

More recently the GIT has taken on the role of providing hallmark certificates for precious metals, in addition to its traditional role of providing training and research for the country’s private sector, as well as running an industry information centre – git.or.th.

It also arranges a series of events and contests each year including the GIT Jewellery Design contest – for young designers – which will be presented in November.

Also, in November the GIT will cooperate with CIBJO to organise the CIBJO Congress in Bangkok from November 2 to 5.

Ruby“This will be a big event that everyone in the gem business will be gathering [in Thailand] for,” says Jiambutr.

It is the second time that a CIBJO Congress will take place in Bangkok, with the first held in back in 2004.

“The fact that the CIBJO Congress is returning to Bangkok is a testament to Thailand’s central role in almost every category of our business, from mining all the way through to jewelry retail, not only in Southeast Asia, but globally as well,” said Gaetano Cavalieri, CIBJO President.

“We thank the Thai government for its generous invitation, as well as DITP and GIT, and invite members of the gem and jewelry sectors from around the world to join us, and to participate in our deliberations, which will impact on stakeholders along the entire chain of distribution. We also are honoured to be able to work in tandem with the World Ruby Forum, which in itself will be a milestone event.”

The World Ruby Forum will take place November 4. Both this and the CIBJO Congress will be held at the Bangkok Shangri-la hotel.

Jiambutr is particularly excited about the Forum.

“Experts from many countries will come and discuss rubies, the innovations and what we are going to do in the future,” she said, inviting those interested in attending either event to contact the GIT.

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New Travel Site for the Over 40s Goes Live http://aseanforum.asia/new-travel-site-for-the-over-40s-goes-live/ http://aseanforum.asia/new-travel-site-for-the-over-40s-goes-live/#comments Tue, 26 Sep 2017 14:14:14 +0000 http://aseanforum.asia/?p=2582 ...]]> A new website targeting the 40something traveller launched this September in London. The site – www.TravelBeginsAt40.com – offers a range of experiences, adventures, opinions, special offers and travel-related news from all corners of the globe specifically aimed at the over-40 traveller.


Mark Bibby Jackson, www.travelbeginsat40.com founder

“The idea for TravelBeginsat40 came when I was trekking in Nepal, surrounded by young travel bloggers,” says its founder Mark Bibby Jackson. “I realised that so much travel information is written by young travellers, for young travellers. It struck me that the more mature traveller was missing out.

I then did a google search and it soon became apparent that most websites
 out there were aiming for a “silver” generation – offering services that even my mum wouldn’t dream of going on.”

Forget mass tourism or cruise ships because the focus of this platform is on boutique tour operators, adventures off-the-beaten-track, eco-tourism, homestays, city breaks, cultural trips, good food and wine, and engaging with local communities along the way. Its target is what Bibby Jackson describes as independent-minded travellers who are sympathetic to and understanding of the environment in which they travel and the local communities that they encounter.

“The website offers the experiences of our collective of travel writers from all parts of the globe to inspire the 40something generation 
to do something more adventurous with their travel than lying on a beach,” adds Bibby Jackson. “We have articles from Rio to Mongolia, and Tajikistan to Patagonia, as well as more familiar destinations such as Amsterdam.

It’s Lonely Planet for grown-ups

One such writer is Mike East – “our man in Caracas” as Bibby Jackson describes him.

I signed up for the collective as I made the decision many years ago to live outside my country of birth. In so doing I have seen so many different people doing all types of interesting and inspiring things – things that are well worth sharing,” says the Crewe-born East, whose initial contribution to the site was advising people on how they can take up surfing in their 40s.

“This is exactly what I mean by inspiring travellers,” says Bibby Jackson. “For me the key word in our name is “begin”, not 40, which is after all just a number. Travel, like life, is an adventure that should begin at 40.”

Ultimately, Bibby Jackson sees TraveBeginsat40 as growing into a forum for 40-somethings to share travel advice and experiences, free from the interference of 20-somethings who have a very different agenda for what they want from their holidays.

“It’s Lonely Planet for grown-ups,” he says.

For more information, visit www.travelbeginsat40.com. Interested contributors can contact bibby@travelbeginsat40.com.

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Thailand Celebrates T Mark http://aseanforum.asia/thailand-celebrates-t-mark/ http://aseanforum.asia/thailand-celebrates-t-mark/#comments Mon, 25 Sep 2017 14:03:05 +0000 http://aseanforum.asia/?p=2569 ...]]> Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce is organising a series of offline and online events to promote the country’s T Mark, especially in the neighbouring CLMV (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) countries, announced officials. This coincided with an awards ceremony by the ministry’s Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) to certify 67 Thai companies that have received Thailand Trust Mark (T Mark) on September 18.

Thailand T Mark

Thann Spa – a Thailand TMark company

The DITP established T Mark in 2012 to strengthen and promote Thai products and services with trusted quality in every dimension from the highest standard of production, fair labour, giving consideration to environmental concerns and social responsibility with the most important factor as ‘Heartmade Quality’.

Consumers today are much more concerned about the quality of products and services as well as the company’s responsibility towards society and the environment

Currently, 763 Thai companies have received the T Mark for products and services ranging from food and agricultural, to lifestyle, fashion, health and beauty, international education and medical services.

“The global market is highly competitive. Companies in every country have different marketing strategies to increase their strengths and selling points in order to capture the hearts of consumers. Consumers today are much more concerned about the quality of products and services as well as the company’s responsibility towards society and the environment,” said Winichai Chamchaeng, vice-minister of the Ministry of Commerce.

“Thai products and services are already well-known in international markets. The DITP finds that T Mark is an important factor that positively influences the decision-making process of foreign buyers in purchasing products and services from Thailand as they are confident that these products and services are carefully made in Thailand with high quality.”

To help promote Thailand T Mark to ASEAN nations, the DITP invited journalists from across the region to experience the products and services of two Thailand T Mark companies. After enjoying a cookery class from Thai master chef Nooror Somany Steppe, followed by a meal in Blue Elephant restaurant, the assembled media visited Thann Sanctuary Spa.

Panida Krutchaiyant, senior brand manager, said that the company is discussing the possibility of taking the franchise into more countries, including the UK, subject to finding the right partner.

“We are in negotiations with a potential business partner in the UK market, it will take some time to finalize things as we need a distributor who has strong brand, retail and marketing management,” she said, before adding that at the moment the company has no plans to enter the Cambodian market, as yet.

M.L.Kathathong Thongyai, assistant director-general of the Thailand Office of Innovation and Value Creation stressed that Cambodia was an important market for Thailand as part of the country’s strategy to target other ASEAN countries.

Consumer products, in particular shampoos, toothpaste and cosmetics were proving particularly successful. “Its very grassroots consumer brands,” he said. “CLMV markets prefer the quality of Thai products compared to Chinese products.”

Thai T Mark companies that already export to Thailand include Khaoshong instant coffee, Sabina lingerie and Advance Cosmetics.


About T Mark Project

The Department of International Trade Promotion, Ministry of Commerce or the DITP has established Thailand Trust Mark (T Mark) in 2012 to strengthen and promote Thai products and services with trusted quality in every dimension from the highest standard of production, fair labor, giving consideration to environmental concerns and social responsibility with the most important factor as the “Heartmade Quality”. For more information, visit www.thailandtrustmark.com

Photos of Blue Elephant restaurant and Thann Spa – two T Mark companies.


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Cambodia Deputy Prime Minister Sok An Dead http://aseanforum.asia/cambodia-deputy-prime-minister-sok-an-dead/ http://aseanforum.asia/cambodia-deputy-prime-minister-sok-an-dead/#comments Wed, 15 Mar 2017 10:33:40 +0000 http://aseanforum.asia/?p=2556 ...]]> Cambodia's Deputy Prime Minister Sok An died on March 15, 2017

Cambodia’s Deputy Prime Minister Sok An died on March 15, 2017

Reliable sources within the Cambodia People’s Party (CPP) have confirmed that Cambodia’s deputy prime minister, Samdech Sok An has died. 

Rumours have circulated around the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh for days concerning Sok An’s ill-health, with Council of Ministers spokesperson Phay Siphan denying on Tuesday morning (March 14) that the man described as prime minister Hun Sen’s right-hand man had died.

“For me, I learned that he is OK; he did not pass away yet. We checked [Monday] night,” Siphan said.

On Monday, the deputy prime minister, who was also the Minister for the Office of the Council of Ministers, was bestowed with the honorfiic title of  “Samdech”. Translated as “Lord” in English, the title put Sok An in an elite group of seven non-royals, including prime minister Hun Sen and his wife, Bun Rany, to hold the title.

It now appears that the title was a last gift to a dying man.

“He deserves to have that [title of Samdech]; he’s been serving the public since 1979,” Siphan said.

Sok An’s body was scheduled to be returned to Cambodia from Paris where he was receiving treatment either late Wednesday or early Thursday, when an official announcement is expected of his death.

Our source within the CPP stated that Sok An’s death, which had been anticipated for quite some time, would not affect the internal running of the party. Cambodia has communal election this June, with a general election in July 2018.

Sok An was born on April 16, 1950, in Takeo province. He was married to Lok Chumteav Annie Sok An, and had five children.


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