Life Style Exhibition and Gala Dinner Marked 150 Years of Thai Danish Diplomatic Relations

By Gregers Moller, Rikke Bjerge Johansen and Annelene H. Larsen 

TRH Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark on Monday night paid an extensive visit to the Danish lifestyle exhibition set up in Bangkok during the official visit of Their Royal Highnesses to mark the 150 years of diplomatic relations between Denmark and Thailand.
The Royal Couple was greeted by among others the Danish Ambassador and the Thai Ambassador to Denmark before walking into the exhibition in a downtown department store. The Lifestyle exhibition is located on the ground floor of the department store, where it will have the maximum consumer impact. Another Danish Business-to-Business exhibition to open Tuesday is located high up in the sky rise building next to the department store.
The Crown Prince Couple stopped first at the Grundfos stand, where Crown Princess Mary was presented with a flower garland. Next to the Grundfos stand was also the Zinker, a stand where Danish artisk Kim Michael was showing his art. One of his sculptures was admired by the Crown Prince and Kim Michael explained his creation.
At the B&O stand next to him, there was an exhibition both of the latest technology and designs of B&O, but also a display of all the famous stepping stones in the development of the design brand.
“This one, you should remember,” said the Crown Prince teasingly to Danish Ambassador Michael Sternberg, pointing to a radio recever from the early 1950’s.
“That was a bit before my time,” was the Ambassador’s dry retort.
Next stand had Crown Prince Mary’s attention. That was the Evita Peroni stand, where the Royal Couple was greeted by founder Henrik Deichmann. Among the questions he answered was how the name Evita Peroni came about.
“That is actually a pure construction,” he explained.
Henrik Deichmann also showed Crown Princess Mary a jewellery designed by one of the grandchildren of His Majesty the King of Thailand. Only two pieces were made. One was donated to charity, the other was kept well and was shown in the display.
Finally, after a brief stop at the SAS stand, where the Royal Couple was met by SAS Manager Haakan Olsson and his staff, the final stand was the LEGO stand, where the press was given its main photo opportunity.
“Does the Princes have Lego toys,” reporter Anna Johannesen of BilledBladet asked the Crown Prince.
“I dare say…” the Crown Prince laughed, indicating that his sons were definitely familiar with the famous Danish toy.
After the visit to the exhibition, which will be open every day on the ground floor of CentralWorld until the 26 November, The Royal Couple and the entourage proceeded to the Lotus Garden outdoor restaurant further up in the business complex where the official celebration of the 150 years of diplomatic relations between Denmark and Thailand was being celebrated with a fabulous gala dinner.
Hans Skov Christensen of DI – Confederation of Danish Industry – welcomed Their Royal Highnesses, the many excellencies and the distinguished guest with a speech touching both on the long standing strong relations between the Danish and Thai Royal families, but also on business legends like H.N. Andersen, the founder of East Asiatic Company and referred to the important Climate Meeting in Copenhagen to be held in 2009.
Hans Skov Christensen also introduced the entertainment of the evening. First, there would be a Thai classical dance performance. Later, the Danish jazz phenomenon Chris Minh Doky – whose father is Vietnamese and mother is Danish – and vocalist Sinne Eeg would entertain the guests. Hans Skov Christensen explained, that just as Denmark has been able to attract the best and the brightest jazz talents, so Denmark wanted to do in other business sectors.
Acting Prime Minister of Thailand, Olarn Chaipravat welcomed TRH the Crown Prince Couple of Denmark on behalf of the Royal Thai Government and the Thai people.
“We look forward to welcome also the Your children on Your Royal Highnesses next visit,” he added.
Olarn Chaiprawat reflected on the milestones in the relationship since the signing of the treaty of friendship in 1858. He mentioned the dairy sector, which Denmark has been instrumental in establishing in Thailand and went on to talk about the current very active tourism sector, where thousands of Danes are welomed on holiday trips to Thailand every year.
Finally, Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moller, who is accompanying the Royal Couple and has a very busy schedule himself, went on from talking about the exceptional strong historic relations which Denmark enjoys with Thailand, to talk about the current situation.
“Denmark looks forward to a continued and productive partnership with Thailand and its elected Government in the spirit of our common basic values such as democracy, the rule of law, promotion and protection of human rights, and political reconciliation,” Per Stig Moller said.
The Foreign Minister further touched on the current economic crisis and the upcoming Climate Summit in Copenhagen next year. He added, that in his opinion, the climate changes should be tackled alongside the economic crisis as one could not be said to be more important than the other.
Before leaving the floor to the entertainers, the Foreign Minister recalled the kind assistance which the Thai people and the Thai government extended to the many Danes who were affected by the tsunami disaster that struck Thailand in 2004, using this as an entry point to talk about the new Danish Corporate Social Responsibility action plan.
“I am pleased that in Thailand we can see first hand several prime examples of such corporate social responsibility put to practice by Danish companies operating here,” he said.
“Danish companies and the Government are looking forward to develop our tradition for CSR in synergy with the strong tradition in Thailand for corporate involvement in local communities. I am confident doing so will benefit both of our societies and will strengthen the ability of our companies to compete in the global marketplace.”

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