Opening Remarks of H.E. Kulkumut Singhara Na Ayudhaya
Ambassador of Thailand to the Republic of the Philippines
?Thailand Franchise Business Matching & Networking Night?
Crowne Plaza Galleria Manila, Ballroom C & D
Thursday, 2 July 2009 at 17.40 hrs

Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of the Royal Thai Embassy, it is my great pleasure to join the Franchise 2009: The 17th Philippine International Franchise Conference and Expo 2009. Tonight?s event, the ?Thailand Franchise Business Matching & Networking Night? presents a unique business matching opportunity for Thai and Philippine businessmen engaged in the franchising industry.???? ?

On the same cordial note, I wish to express my warmest congratulations to the organizer and eminent host of this business conference, it is? impressive how this event has gathered renowned and leading players in the Thai franchise industry as they converge to explore new markets and opportunities in Manila.

At this point, I would like to extend my appreciation and wish all of the participating companies success, including: Hands On Co. Ltd., Exquisine System Co. Ltd., Chokdee Interfood Co. Ltd., Black Canyon (Thailand) Co. Ltd., Seefah Retaurant Co., Ltd. These companies are well-established in Thailand and are leaders in their respective niches, namely Thai and Chinese food, specialty coffee shop and kids? arts and crafts shop. Later on you will get to know each company during their presentations and learn about its potential and appeal as a franchise business in the Philippine market. ?

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Adding value to this business event, the embassy strongly support this??? economic activities as part of, and in line with the celebration of the 60th Anniversary of Thai-Philippine Diplomatic Relations. As from the beginning of 2009, the Royal Thai Embassy and Team Thailand in the Philippines has organized a number of activities to highlight this momentous event. Just recently, particularly on 14 June, the actual date of our 60th Diplomatic Anniversary, in cooperation with the City of Manila, the Royal Thai Embassy? embarked on a day-long activity starting with a friendship walk at the Luneta Park, joint Thai and Philippine cultural performances, followed by Muay Thai competition at Lorenzo Ruiz Park.? Later on, the signing of the Executive Program for Cultural Cooperation and launching of the Commemorative Stamps as well as the commemorative book of our 60th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations took place. Capping these activities is a gala dinner under the theme ?Thainess? where Friends of Thailand and Friends of the Philippines joining together to celebrate the momentous occasion.

Throughout? 60 years of diplomatic relations,? Thai and Philippine economic partnership is continually progressing through two-way trade and investments. Now, more than ever, Thailand warmly welcomes joint venture investments with Philippine businessmen here and vice versa. On Thailand?s side, I am proud to say that our investments provide quality local employment and practice corporate social responsibility benefiting the society and local communities. Thailand?s private sector investments in the Philippines span a wide variety of industries, from banking, healthcare, paper and ceramics manufacturing, energy, airlines among others, not to mention the twenty well-known Thai restaurants throughout the country. Particularly, Thai cuisine and a variety of Thai tropical fruits have gained popularity in the Philippines, indeed capturing the varied taste and wide-range local market.? And in line with the Thai Government?s policy to promote ?Thai Kitchen to the World,? the potential of the food franchise sector is seen as an avenue to work hand-in-hand with the private sector in promoting Thai food in every part of the world.

Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am confident that tonight?s activity will not only bring about the promotion of Thai food and products to be more well-known in the Philippines, but will also serve as a cultural gateway to strengthen people-to-people understanding between Thais and Filipinos as we share a more dynamic business relations.

Last but not the least, on behalf of the Royal Thai Embassy and Team Thailand in the Philippines, I would like to affirm our commitment to work closely with all of you and support other activities through trade and cultural diplomacy to promote better understanding between the Thai and Philippine communities. ?

Once again, welcome to Thailand Franchise Business Matching & Networking Night and I hope you will all enjoy exploring new trade and investment possibilities.

Thank you very much.