Natural Resources Ministry taps Netflix to boost Thai soft power
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa is pushing for collaboration with Netflix in promoting Thailand’s soft power.
He offered the US-based subscription streaming service and production company his ministry’s help in producing content relating to Thailand’s national parks, which he expected would enhance the country’s positive image and boost its post-Covid economy.
The chief executive of Netflix is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha in June to discuss the matter, according to Varawut.
He said Netflix Thailand executives met him and representatives from other state agencies recently to discuss potential content for the streaming service, as well as its marketing plan.
“The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry is ready to cooperate to create content for promoting the soft power, image and good perception of Thailand,” Varawut said.
“The ministry oversees 155 national parks, both on land and sea. We are ready to work with different organisations in creating a good image [about Thailand]. Netflix is a big window that can show Thailand to the world,” he pointed out.
As an example, the minister cited a Netflix documentary series on national parks in the United States hosted by former president Barack Obama.
“That’s the kind of soft power Thailand has the potential to portray,” he said.
Varawut said his ministry sought suggestions from Netflix regarding its strengths and weaknesses on the matter.
“We will adapt future work with related companies to make their production in Thailand more convenient.”
Varawut also said his ministry focused on Netflix because it was influential on social media, as many of its audience actually visited the locations featured in dramas and documentaries streamed on the platform.