In the run-up to and aftermath of the Iraq War, favourability toward the US, which had spiked upward after 9/11, went into free-fall in many countries. This and the accompanying rise of anti-Americanism is important because it has undercut US soft power and thereby reduced Washington's ability to promote its interests overseas, and indeed those of its allies.

Thailand should take the lead as the "United States of Asean" and take advantage of the Kingdom's rich, religious culture as its selling points in branding itself ahead of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) in 2015, said marketing guru Philip Kotler. "Thailand has a beautiful culture and is one of the major Buddhist countries in Southeast Asia. The country is religious-oriented and has a good harmony and principles of good living. These should be the selling points of Thailand," he said.

American classical pianist Kathryn Woodard will give her debut Bangkok recital with a programme that explores cross-cultural exchange in music, at Goethe Institute Bangkok on March 18 at 8pm...The acclaimed pianist from Texas has recently performed in China, South Korea, Croatia, Germany and Turkey.

Thai and Chinese officials signed a cultural-exchange agreement that will see mainland martial arts performed and taught here, and Thai artists and musicians entertain there...China will also provide support to Thailand in satellite technology and other advanced technologies. Thailand, in return, will allow establishment of a new Chinese satellite project in Thailand.

Bangkok governor candidates have been painting a rosy picture of the capital under their stewardship, but what's glaringly missing from their campaign bullet points and speeches is the policy and vision of Bangkok as a city of arts and culture. "Art and culture must be on the master Bangkok agenda, not something on the side.... We're talking about 'soft power' and how the creative industry can generate income."

Representatives of more than 190 countries will convene as an official body, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), in Dubai. It is the first time the ITU has assembled to write critical new rules since 1988. Today, the internet has reached a crossroads, and decisions made this month could set it on a distinctly new path.

November 27, 2012

Sakchai Deenan is Thai, but he's pretty big in Laos. Talk about filmmaking and cultural exchange among the nations of Southeast Asia and the man with limited means and image of a constantly struggling director has carved out a unique new segment, feeding off the interconnectedness between the peoples of Thailand and Laos, and managed to reap fair success these past four years.

Thailand and China have agreed to further boost economic ties during a high-level visit by Chinese Premier Wen Jiaboa to Bangkok. Analysts say the visit, following soon after that of U.S. President Barack Obama, highlights increased interest in Southeast Asia’s positive economic outlook.