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The Gala Performance to Celebrate Thailand’s Day

2010. 6 September

( Opening Remarks by Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand,at The Gala Performance to Celebrate Thailand’s Day in the World Expo 2010 Shanghai, People’s Republic of China 5 September 2010 at 18.00 hrs, Expo Centre (Red Hall)


Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 1.       Allow me to extend a very warm welcome to all of you this evening. It is a great honour for Thailand that you have joined us at this Gala Performance to celebrate Thailand’s Day at the World Exposition 2010 in Shanghai.     

2.       It is indeed an exciting opportunity for Thailand to be able to participate in this Word Expo -- not only because it is being hosted in the magnificent city of Shanghai but also because we want to be part of this historic event. This Expo will remain most memorable for its grand impact from the vast array of cultural exhibitions from all corners of the globe.  More than 180 countries in all have participated in this Expo, making it the biggest in its history. And in this regard, we would like to congratulate the government and people of the People’s Republic of China as well as the Expo Committee on the success and excellent organisation of this truly world-class event.        

3.       Thailand participated in several World Expositions previously. This time we have chosen the theme “Thainess: Sustainable Ways of Life.” This is to reflect who we were in the past; what we are at present; and where we will be in the future.  Through different halls in the Thailand Pavilion, you will be able to take a journey through the history of Thailand and the evolution of Thai culture. Your journey will be guided through interesting narratives as well as beautiful arts and crafts displays, and of course entertaining activities. And tonight, it is our special pleasure to present to you a series of performances epitomizing “The Colours of Thainess”.   

4.       Like our Pavilion, “The Colours of Thainess” performances will reflect our country’s long history, rich cultural heritage, and the transformation, especially in the wake of globalization, from once a simple way of life to a modern cosmopolitan urban lifestyle. But what is more important is that, despite such a transformation, one can always find “Thainess” in every Thai.   

5.       Indeed, the “Colours of Thainess” are not just about the lighter aspects of fun and joyfulness. Rather, they encompass the adaptability and great resilience of us as a country and as a people. As such, the adaptability of Thais has played a significant part in our cultural heritage. This has resulted in Thai society as it is today -- multi-racial, culturally diverse, and fostering harmonious co-existence of people with different backgrounds.  Our ability to adapt has also helped us overcome various challenges over the course of our time, be they the economic crises or shifting political situations.   

6.       Moreover, Thainess also manifests in the traits of having a peace-loving nature, compassion, politeness, and respect for others -- not to forget extremely warm hospitality and our signature smiles. Together with our rich history, these are parts of what Thailand is all about. And these are what we proudly share with you this evening at this World Expo.   

Ladies and Gentlemen,

7.       I believe that what we have prepared for you here at the Expo are only a few examples of what Thailand has to offer. To see and experience the whole picture, you will need to come and visit Thailand in person and feel the “Thainess” yourself.   

8.       As we are preparing our country and people for greater competitiveness, not only will you be able to enjoy our high quality, diversified tourism activities, but you may also reap benefits from trade and investment packages and opportunities, supported by our improved capacity both in infrastructure and human capital. Through various government initiatives, Thailand and the Thai people are gearing towards a better and more competitive future, particularly at that point when the ASEAN Economic Community comes into existence in less than five years from now. By then, Thailand will be able to serve as a hub for ASEAN and hopefully much more.    

9.       I have given you a prelude to what is promised to be a spectacular evening.  I hope you will enjoy the performances that we have planned for you.   

10.     On behalf of the Royal Thai Government, I would like to once again express my deep appreciation to our Host – the Chinese Government and people -- and the Expo Committee, for allowing us the opportunity to bring Thailand to you.   

11.     Without further ado, may I now declare open the Gala Performance to celebrate the Thailand’s Day at the 2010 World Expo.   

12.     Thank you very much.  Have a wonderful evening, and Sawasdee Krub.