Government spokesman Lt General Sansern Kaewkamnerd said on Saturday that the Cabinet had its eyes set on developing the Northeast to become the “Mekong economic hub”.
The Cabinet would convene on Tuesday in Nakhon Ratchasima, which is seen as a regional gateway and the centre of the Lower Northeast, Sansern said.
The meeting would focus on projects including integrated water management to support both economic activities and agriculture, improving the quality of life of the Northeastern people, organic farming and processing, eco-tourism, and the One Tambon, One Product (OTOP) entrepreneurship scheme.
Nakhon Ratchasima, in particular, would be subject to future development to make it become a hub of both industry and agriculture, Sansern said.
There would be a high-speed train connecting it to Bangkok as well as the Eastern Economic Corridor, a grand development project of the government in the East, he said.
Sansern, who is also public relations department chief, has been in the spotlight in the past few days after he outlined a plan asking for “cooperation” from the media to report on the Cabinet trip. Some members of the media viewed this as “regulating and interfering” with their public responsibilities.
Samsern asked them to produce scoops on ministers and provide recordings to the PRD-affiliated National Broadcasting Services of Thailand. Some media members withdrew from the plan after heavy criticism, but Sansern said it was still in place and it was up to the media how to respond.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha also responded to the issue, saying he did not expect anything from the media in the first place.
Prayut said he would rather not give any interviews from now on, but say directly to the public what he wanted to say. It was apparently said in a satirical manner.