ASIA – The president of the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) has announced he intends to resign at the end of the month.

Akapol Sorasuchart submitted a resignation letter to the TCEB’s board on 29 February without providing a reason, according to a report in Thai newspaper The Nation.

Sorasuchart, who has held his position for almost two and a half years, reportedly said ‘existing problems’ prompted his resignation.

The bureau president said that he wants the agency to continue with its bid to host the World Expo 2020, but was worried about the bid’s progress, adding that without making people available to work on the project, Thailand would lose opportunities in the international arena.

Sorasuchart said his resignation would not have a major impact on the bid, which is very much a live campaign, but called on the government to lobby the body that awards the World Expo, the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE).

BIE officials are scheduled to visit Thailand to assess the country’s preparation for hosting the event, analysing infrastructure and related services, a check that will be carried out on all four nations competing to host the 2020 event.

During Sorasuchart’s tenure, TCEB’s Bt100m budget for the World Expo was reduced by Bt20m during last year’s flood crisis, before being scrapped altogether, which according to The Nation, made it very difficult for Sorasuchart to work on the project.

Sorasuchart also disagreed with the Thai government’s proposal to bring TCEB under the auspices of the Tourism and Sports Ministry, a move he claims would damage its independence – a key international selling point for the bureau.

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