Friendship Cities Bangkok-Ragunda Conclude Productive Visit

A Thai delegation of Nordic visitors from Bangkok’s Swedish friendship city Ragunda and two more Swedish cities, Sollefteaa and Stromsund as well as the Norwegian city Stjordal returned on Monday 19 to Sweden after a most productive visit to the Thai capital.
On Tuesday 13 May 2008, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn received the Nordic visitors who were introduced to Her Royal Highness by Mr Thawatchai Piyanonthaya from Bangkok Metropolitan Administration. The visitors briefed Her Royal Highness on the many activities related to the celebrations of the 10 Year Anniversary of the Royal Thai pavilion in Ragunda and presented Her Royal Highness with a framed picture of the pavilion with snow on the characteristic Thai roof structure.
The visitors handed the Princes an open invitation to visit Ragunda and other nearby places and later the visit was shown in the Royal news on Thai TV.
According to Mr Thawatchai Piyanonthaya, it was the first time ever that representatives from one of Bangkok’s friendship cities were granted a Royal audience.
The following day, the group met with a representative from the Ministry of Culture. Here it was confirmed, that an official Thai visit to Ragunda would take place around the 19th of July in celebration of the 10 Year Anniversary. But a proposal from the Nordic visitors to send groups of cultural visitors to other nearby destinations, including Solleftea, could not be accommodated.
Thursday 15 May, the group was granted a meeting with Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej who has previously visited the pavilion when he was the Governor of Bangkok. He was likewise briefed on the activities planned to celebrate the anniversary of the Thai landmark in Sweden and received an invitation to participate in the event.
The Prime Minister accepted the invitation and looked forward to visit Sweden this summer, the Ragunda municipality informs the Swedish press in a press briefing after the return to Sweden.
The press release continues to elaborate on the opportunities in Thailand which the Swedish friendship city should explore.
“A growing middle class with a growing disposable income for consumption and traveling opens up new opportunities for Sweden.”
“A project is under way to offer groups of tourists to travel in the footsteps of His Royal Highness King Chulalongkorn during part of the King’s visit in 1897 along the coast of Norrland to Sollefteaa, Bispgaarden, Utanede and back to Sundsvall.”
Other possibilities that were mentioned during the visit to Bangkok were within the energy sector where:
– Stordal is active within the oil and gas business
– Stromsund is a national center for wind energy
– Sollefteaa and Ragunda have considerable electrical power production plants and various forms of bio power plants.

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