On 10 September 2016 at 09.00 hrs., H.E. Mrs. Busaya Mathelin, Ambassador of Thailand to Belgium, Luxembourg, and the European Union, presided over the opening ceremony of the annual meeting of the Association of Thai Professionals in European Region (ATPER2016) together with Mr. Alongkorn Laow-ngam, Inspector General, Ministry of Science and Technology of Thailand. Associate Professor Dr. Bandit Thipakorn, Deputy Secretary General, Office of the Higher Education Commission, Ministry of Education of Thailand, and Associate Professor Dr. Werasak Undomkichdecha, Executive Vice President, National Science and Technology Development Agency, also gave keynote speeches.
The Association of Thai Professionals in European Region or ATPER was founded in 1993 by a group of Thai professionals working in Europe and Thai students studying at postgraduate level in European Universities. The main objective of the association was to help transfer knowledge from Europe to Thailand to assist with the development of the country. The current president of the association is Dr. Krisna Rungruangsak-Torrissen, a senior scientist at Norwegian Department of Fisheries. ATPER2016 was organized by the Office of Science and Technology, under the direction of Dr. Manop Sittidech, during 10-11 September 2016 at Thon Hotel EU with the central theme of S-Curve Industry and 10 industries of the future. The meeting was attended by over 40 participants from ATPER members around Europe and Thai offices in Brussels.
In her opening remarks, Ambassador Mathelin noted the importance of science, technology, and innovation to the development of the country and explained the basic ideas behind the Royal Thai Government’s “Thailand 4.0” policy as well as the role of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Thai embassies around the world in pursuit of science diplomacy to support this important undertaking.