How Thai gifts and souvenirs won hearts of Apec leaders
The team behind the creation of gifts and souvenirs said it was proud to see leaders and special guests attending the Apec Economic Leaders’ Meeting appreciating the offerings from host Thailand.
In addition to making arrangementsfor the summit in Bangkok from November 17 to 19, the preparation of gifts and souvenirs is another important part, to create a good image of the country with memorable mementos for visitors under the concept of Bio-Circular-Green (BCG).
The team had been assigned by the Culture Ministry on behalf of the Thai government to create and produce gifts for this special occasion to be presented to the leaders, their spouses and special guests.
The main gift set consists of three items: embossed metal picture “Rajata Saen Tok”; embossed metal accessory boxes “Rajata Muen Tok” and a clothing accessories set “Chaturabhorn”, consisting of “Ratihong” shawl, "Sukharom" face mask, "Sakyaburut" necktie, and "Phakapak" handkerchief.
Apart from the main gifts produced by the team, a silver nielloware picture frame, Yan Lipao basketry, the book: "Thai Silk for All (Directory of Thai silk)" and a coin commemorating the 29th Apec Economic Leaders’ Meeting were handed out to leaders and special guests as well.
Tepparat Songkraw, head of the Working Group on the Creation of Gifts and Souvenirs, said he named the project “Gifts from the Kingdom of Thailand”.
He said the project implies that “every single gift to be created must have its roots in the wisdom and heritage of the beautiful Kingdom of Thailand”.
"The gifts are meant not only to impress leaders of all nations, but every item must be valuable and functional for use or equipped with unique stories to tell at this event and spread out to each country, to ensure that the Thai identity is transmitted to the eyes of hundreds of millions of people around the world,” he said.
He said the team had to overcome three challenges in this project:
● The first challenge is the integration of traditional values of Thai culture with contemporary elegance and luxury, while being functional.
● The second one is the story-telling about Thailand through patterns in a small space of a few square centimetres.
● The third one is to put both elements beautifully on recycled materials, in line with the main concept of organising this international conference.
"It took us over three months to prepare and produce all 75 sets of 175 pieces in just one month," he said, "We have been working on-site, making more than 20 trips to work closely with the communities, spending altogether not less than 1,000 hours."
With the synergy of team members and related agencies, he said the project was completed in the specified time.
"Although we have been involved in many world-class creations, this is one of the projects that the working team and I feel so proud of," he said.
Apart from seeing world leaders’ appreciation of the gifts, he said the team was also proud to have helped the communities generate income.
"On top of these, the proudest thing is to take part in inheriting Thai cultural wisdom and present it to meet the consumption preferences of consumer lifestyle today, both in our country and globally,” he added.
By Wilasinee (Kaimook) Siriboonpipattana,
Senior Lifestyle Research Analyst, Mintel Reports Thailand