WORLD EXPO 2020
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has denied the government bungled Thailand's bid to host World Expo 2020.
Ms Yingluck brushed aside criticism that the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE) rejected Thailand as a contender to host the global event after the government failed to endorse the bid prepared by the Prime Minister's Office.
She said the government had done its best to push for the right to host the exposition. When asked to comment on the chances of the government re-submitting the bid, Ms Yingluck said she would need to consult the Tourism and Sports Ministry first. She said the rejection did not mean a loss of opportunities.
"I assure you that the government did not sit idle over the bid," she said. "We had to look into details as several countries are also prepared and ready to host the event.
"We have also done our best. Details of our bid can be explained. Our team members are ready to give information."
Former Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) president Akrapol Sorasuchart yesterday countered Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul's allegations against the bureau.
He said Mr Surapong's remark that the TCEB lacked information about the proper bidding procedures was untrue.
The bid rejection bid stemmed mainly from the government's failure to endorse the bid in the first place, he said.
Earlier, Mr Surapong, also deputy prime minister, accused the TCEB of being ill-prepared to put the bid forward.
Mr Akrapol insisted Thailand had met all the BIE's criteria, but had failed because it lacked government endorsement.