News Centre-TDO- To mark 60 years of diplomatic relations between Turkey and Thailand, the Thai Embassy in Turkey organised a visit to Thailand for Turkish journalists.

As part of the trip, on May 17th 2018, a press conference was held on OTOP, he project to improve Thailand’s social and economic development. The speakers were Mr. Apichart Totilkwatch,Director General of Community Development Department and Supakorn Mulluwan,Director of Bureau of Local Wisdom and Community Enterprise Promotion and Social Enterprises of the Ministry of the Interior.

Following the press conference, the Turkish press delegation visited the OTOP Fair and brought some of the products on sale there.

What is OTOP?

OTOP stands for One Tambon (district) One Product and it is a government initiative run under a dual monitoring policy to support economic development and increase the output of community products. The inspiration for OTOP was the One Village One Product project ran by Japan’s Oita Prefecture. The Thai government has developed and implemented the OTOP model for the whole country. It is hoped that the OTOP project will improve the quality of life for people in 7255  Tambons or Subdistricts of Thailand, which it covers.

 The OTOP idea is to put even more value added to unique products which are made with a combination of local wisdom, custom, culture and local resources in order to strengthen the economic base directly.

The OTOP structure contains three basic principles:

  • The development of OTOPs that are local and not yet global;
  • Self-reliance and creativity:  OTOP aims to help individuals in communities to come to trust in themselves more.  In pursuing this aim, it also intends to help encourage creativity in order to present more alternatives for the livelihood and development of communities.
  • Developing Human Resources: To achieve self-confidence, the local people need to be trained in line with their needs and their capacities developed.

The Thai government has established two main mechanisms to administrate the OTOP model. These consist of the OTOP Executive Board and the many sub-committees with different responsibilities. The National OTOP Executive Board, presided over by the Deputy Prime Minister, is responsible for responsible for the policy and direction of the programme. The office is attached to the Prime Minister’s Office. Provincial OTOP Committees and Regional OTOP Committees are lower down in the hierarchy.  The Provincial OTOP Committees act as administrative organs and coordinators between various bodies and organisations. OTOP Committees implement, coordinate and support the OTOP mobilisation at the regional level.

The Turkish media delegation that was taken to the district of Baan Sala Din to obtain more information on OTOP visited a lotus flower farm in the district.

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