His Majesty’s Royal Project Exhibition held in Copenhagen

The Royal Highlands Development Project Exhibition was held at Bygningskulturens Hus, Copenhagen, on 12 June 2007. The exhibition forms part of the celebrations marking the Celebrations on the Auspicious Occasion of His Majesty King Bhumibhol Adulyadej’s 80th Birthday Anniversary on 5 December 2007.
The exhibition was presided over by His Serene Highness Prince Bhisatej Rajani, Chairman of the Royal Project Foundation and H.E. Mr. Chaisiri Anamarn, Ambassador. Among other honorable guests, M.R. Datchari Rajani, M.R. Datchrabimol Rajani Tunganaga, M.R. Powari Suchiva and other members of the Royal Project Foundation were also present. In addition, the diplomatic corps in Denmark, Thai Honorary Consul General, Office of Commercial Affairs, The Royal Thai Embassy, members from Thai Airways International, representatives from Office of Agriculture from Brussels and the Danish press were among other distinguished guests attending the exhibition. 
The opening ceremony was performed at 12.00 hrs. when the Thai Ambassador welcomed His Serene Highness Prince Bhisatej Rajani to introduce the Royal Highlands Development Project with its history and objectives. A video on the work of the Royal Project was then shown followed by two Thai classical dances and Thai classical music. After the opening ceremony, the public was then allowed to enter the exhibition at 13.30 hrs.
The ‘Royal Project Foundation’ was founded by His Majesty King Bhumibhol Adulyadej in 1969 with humanitarianism as one of the key reasons underlying the initiative of the project. This was when Their Majesties spent their holidays in the northern part of Thailand at Bhuping Palace on the hills of Chiang Mai and took some time to visit the hill tribe villages nearby. Their Majesties noticed that the hill tribe people grew opium poppy for a living and thus destroying forests and watershed areas and yet remained poor. His Majesty was then determined to eliminate opium cultivation in order to conserve and protect the forests and hope to put a stop to the problem of narcotics. Most importantly, His Majesty desired to eradicate poverty and improve the lives of the hill tribe people by encouraging them to produce useful crops so they could earn good income.
With His Majesty’s aim to provide people in the remote areas with education and to encourage them to become self-reliant and more prosperous came the Royal Highlands Development Project. Here, the Project assists the various hill tribes of Northern Thailand to replace opium cultivation to growing useful crops which is currently known as ‘Doi Kham’. His Serene Highness Prince Bhisatej Rajani was placed as Chairman of the Royal Project Foundation and has overseen the work of the Foundation since its inception for more than 30 years.
The exhibition aims to introduce the Danes and other foreigners in Denmark, may they be the diplomatic corps who attended the exhibition or foreign visitors in general as well as the Thais living in Denmark, of the Royal Project Foundation and its history, objectives, accomplishments and various activities and projects that have been carried out to assist the development of livelihood among the people in remote areas. Most significantly, it is to make people aware of His Majesty’s love and compassion for his people and of His effort in improving the lives of the poor. The exhibition was also held to celebrate on the occasion of His Majesty’s 80th birthday anniversary this year.
Apart from displaying the work of the Royal Project Foundation and His Majesty the King, the exhibition also served as a Thai bazaar where products made from fresh produce from the Royal Project Foundation were available for sale along with The Peach and the Poppy, a book on the history, development and success of the Royal Project Foundation. Other booths that participated at the exhibition included The Royal Thai Embassy in Copenhagen, Tourism Authority of Thailand in Stockholm, Office of Commercial Affairs in Copenhagen and Thai Airways International. Authentic Thai cuisine from Thai restaurants which received Thai Select certificate was also sold at the exhibition compound.
Thailand is a dream holiday destination for many tourists worldwide and Danish tourists also account a large part of the number. People from all over the world have come streaming into tourist spots such as the Southern beaches and islands but the north was often overlooked. In his speech, Prince Bhisatej Rajani stated that many Danes have come to Thailand to spend their holidays in famous places such as Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket among many others, but not many of them have paid much attention to northern Thailand, particularly the hill tribes. His Serene Highness would like people to consider northern Thailand as another option and see the life of the hill tribe people and how they have prospered over the years. It is hoped that more people will be aware of the Project and that more will visit northern Thailand, which would indirectly help to support the hill tribe people in some ways.
At present, Tourism Authority of Thailand has cooperated with Thai Airways International and tourist agencies in introducing a package tour to the Northern part of Thailand to visit the area of the local people and to see for yourself the place where the Royal Highlands Development Projects have been carried on for decades.

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