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23 Nov, 2022

Discovering the APEC 2022 theme “Open Connect Balance” in Northeast Thailand

Bangkok – Hundreds of journalists from Thailand and around the world covered the APEC summit in Bangkok between 18-19 November. Not me. Having reported on dozens of such summits over my 50 years in journalism, I no longer see the need to tolerate onerous security requirements or waste time listening to speeches and finding information that is easily available online.

Far more important and relevant than all the lofty declarations and communiques was the APEC 2022 theme: “Open-Connect-Balance” and the logo which symbolised an interwoven bamboo basket. The entire event was based on this theme, which showcases how Thai history, heritage, culture, economy and politics are all inter-woven. Numerous publications and exhibits were used during the event to flag Thailand’s commitment to this theme.

I opted for a better way to show it some respect  — by actually visiting places which exemplify it. Hence, I skipped APEC to head for a region which abounds with icons of “Open-Connect-Balance” — Lower Northeast Thailand, which borders Cambodia, using the province of Buriram as a hub. This is what I discovered…