Government expands promotional efforts for fruit exports leveraging opportunities such as Thai rapper’s appearance at Coachella music festival

The Thai government has revealed plans to increase fruit exports and expand promotional efforts in an effort to develop the country’s international standing.

According to a report from the Bangkok Post, Phusit Ratanakul Sereroengrit, director-general of the International Trade Promotion Department (DITP) said the Commerce Ministry has vowed to promote soft power development through products with a strong Thai identity such as fruit.

The department has outlined a number of strategies to boost the exports and popularity of Thai fruits, including leveraging Thai celebrities.

Rapper Danupha “Milli” Khanatheerakul was the first ever Thai to perform at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, held in California, US. She ate the popular Thai dessert, mango sticky rice, on stage at this year’s event prompting significant social media attention.

Malika Boonmeetrakool Mahasook, adviser to commerce minister Jurin Laksanawisit, said the Ministry wanted to capitalise on trends such as this.

“The commerce minister himself has vowed to continue promoting the digital content business as a key industry to drive economic growth this year and upgrade it as a hub for the sector,” said Mahasook.

“He has also assigned responsible agencies to facilitate the promotion of soft power and activities on the international stage, given Thailand’s strength in unique culture, lifestyle, food, Thainess, and quality of tourism services, which are second to none in the world.”

The DITP has been employing other efforts such as working with 1,878 entrepreneurs during the first six months of fiscal 2022 (October 2021 to March 2022) to help facilitate exports, which generated Thb3.9bn (US$115m) worth of trade. 

It organsied online business matching events with global fruit importers to generate Thb2.6bn (US$76m) of the total.

Further events have been planned for July and a Taste of Thailand Fair will be held in Korea and Taiwan in April featuring mangoes, mangosteens, durians and pineapples.

During May and June the department has organised ‘Thai Fruit Golden Months’ to promote Thai fruits in department stores in 13 Chinese cities.