Prince Consort Henrik Visits Ecco Thailand

Tuesday morning the air around the Ecco factory half an hour away from Ayuthaya was thick with tension, as managers and employees awaited a special visit from the Danish Prince Consort Henrik.
The Prince Consort is currently in Thailand participating in the celebration of the Thai King’s 60th year-anniversary since his accession to the throne.
With 2586 employees the Ecco’s shoe-factory is the largest Danish owned factory in Thailand and one of the only places Prince Consort Henrik is to pay an official visit during his current stay in Thailand.
At 10.00 o’clock sharp the tension was released and finally the enormous amount of hours spend planning the visit came to use, as the Prince Consort arrived accompanied by the Danish ambassador to Thailand Ulrik Helweg-Larsen.

Along with an excess of Danish and Thai flags the Thai governor was present to greet Prince Consort Henrik welcome to his province.
Flown in from Denmark, Ecco vice-chairman, Karsten Borch, was the one, who invited the Prince Consort into the factory.
Huge smile on his face Karsten Borch introduced the directors of Ecco Thailand to the Prince Consort.
The vice-chairman needed not to introduce himself, as he was already familiar with the Prince Consort. Karsten Borch started of his career inside Danish television and was actually the first to interview Prince Consort Henrik on Danish television.
Ecco Thailand was established in 1993 and began production at the factory in 1994. This day’s royal visit was the second one from the Danish Royal House, as the Prince Consort’s son, Crown Prince Frederik, has also visited the factory.

Tour of Ecco
Ecco started the Prince Consort’s tour of the factory with a short presentation of the factory facilities, which Karsten Borch named the finest of Ecco’s factories around the world.
Borch also mentioned that Ecco had double reasons to celebrate this day, as the conglomerate also was about to open its shop number 100 in Moscow, Russia.
Before letting the managing director of Ecco Thailand, Kitty Chaiwattanatorn, take the floor to explain about the factory the Vice-chairman showed his good humour by saying:
“We hope you will be impressed – and by the time you leave here, you will all be wearing Ecco shoes.” A prediction that would come true at least for the Prince Consort.

Impressed Prince Consort
Prince Consort Henrik was spared walking around the factory, as Ecco had provided golf cars to take him around the facilities.
As he sat down in the golf car it was revealed that the Prince Consort carried a band-aid just above his angle. No official explanation was given to the injury, but it was said that Consort got the injury before he came to Thailand.
“He picked up a knock,” was the only other thing said.
The tour took the band-aided Prince Consort all the way through the production chain – from tannery to molding and sewing. At the stitching lines the Prince Consort meet a familiar face, as a picture from his son’s visit decorated the wall.
It was an impressed Prince Consort, who after 1.5 hours finished his tour of the factory.
“It was an interesting visit. It is marvellous to see such a big factory being put up in so few years,” the Consort said.

Gifted white shoes
Prince Consort Henrik, who had his birthday last Sunday wasn’t allowed to leave Ecco with out a receiving a gift.
In the blitz light from the photographers the Prince Consort was presented with a par of white shoes – a gift he accepted smiling – and by accepting the shoes he let Karsten Borch’s prediction come true.
For the factory to remember its second royal visit the Prince Consort was asked to sign a piece of leather – a piece that might find a place next to the picture of the Consort’s son in the factory hall.
In order to properly goodbye Prince Consort Henrik the bulk of the 2586 employees at the factory took to the road outside, waving Danish and Thai flags, as the royal Mercedes-caravan left the factory.
 After the visit the way was set for Ayuthaya, where the Danish Embassy had invited the Prince Consort for lunch.
Prince Consort Henrik is staying in Thailand until Thursday, June 15, where he leaves the country on a private holiday taking him to Bhutan.

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