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NE products exhibited at Thailand fair

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, March 21 � The �Made In North East India (MINEI)-2010� showcasing the region�s exquisite handicrafts was inaugurated at Fashion Island Shopping Mall in Bangkok on Saturday evening.

Suthad Setboonsarng, Senior Trade Adviser to the Royal Thai Government, while inaugurating the exhibition, termed it as a significant occasion in the bilateral ties between Thailand and the North-east. The event is being organised by the Industries and Trade Fair Association of Assam (ITFAA), NER, in association with Development Commissioner (Handicrafts), Ministry of Textiles, Government of India.

�The workmanship of the artisans coming from the land of seven sisters is unbelievable. This show should become an annual event to cement the socio-cultural and trade relationships between the regions,� a statement issued by the organisers said quoting Setboonsarng. He had special words of appreciation for Manchihan Sasa of Manipur who was displaying clay pottery at the exhibition.

Phummisak Hongsyok, Senator, Royal Thai Parliament who also participated in the inaugural function, said that the show was a meeting point of Thailand�s Look West Policy and India�s Look East Policy. �Being members of the BIMSTEC initiative, both Thailand and India are going to be largely benefited by exchange of talented craft persons from both the sides in shows like this,� he added.

Madhukar Asnani, First Secretary, Commercial, Embassy of India, Thailand, while praising the workmanship of artisans of the North-east, urged the organisers to hold more such exhibitions in future so that the poor artisans� craftsmanship could be globally appreciated.

�It was a defining moment for the rich handicraft industry of the North-east as artisans from the region competed with some of the best brands in the world at Fashion Island Shopping Mall, one of the best shopping centres in South East Asia and stood their ground. The exhibition has infused a great deal of confidence among the handicraft artisans of the region,� Rajesh Das, vice president of ITFAA said.

Amen Deka from Barpeta district who has travelled abroad for the first time could not control his emotion as he sold his small bamboo replicas of motorcycles at Rs 27,000 within twenty minutes after the inauguration of the exhibition. An excited Deka said �It took me six months to complete the replicas and today Almighty has rewarded me in Bangkok. It is not the money but the appreciation of my skill and hard work in a foreign land that counts.�

An impressed Thai customer in a symbolic manner paid 100 baht extra apart from the MRP while purchasing a Karbi shawl from the lone lady participant, Nichaswari Rabha.

People thronged the colourful stall of Khandu Wangchuk from Sikkim who was displaying exquisite Buddhist paintings. The visitors, apart from appreciating his art, also enjoyed discoursing on Buddhism with him.

Tharadol Thongruang, who was earlier with Thailand Embassy in New Delhi and now promoted to look after foreign trade in Thailand, was euphoric about building a strong brand of the North-east in Thailand. The senior diplomat said, �The North-east has finally arrived in Thailand and the Thai people are looking towards the North-east for strong socio-cultural and trade ties, and the credit goes to the ITFAA for their sustained endeavour.�

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