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Movie madness approved by Thais
Jeremy Colson, Bangkok

Jeremy Colson, Bangkok  
(5th Jul 2002)

THAILAND will use the movie industry as a vehicle to promote tourism, as de facto tourism minister, Mr Somsak Thepsutin, told reporters this week. He said the country has joined the US-based Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI).

This effectively gives the kingdom a stamp of approval within the movie-making industry. In Asia, only Hong Kong and Malaysia are AFCI members and it is thought Thailand will provide these and other countries a strong run for their money when directors choose the location to shoot a new film.

Mr Somsak said AFCI membership was an important step in establishing Thailand in the minds of the film-making community.

To help establish Thailand as an international film production centre, the government has approved a plan to only charge actors a flat 10 per cent tax instead of up to 37 per cent previously.

According to the Thailand Film Office some 439 foreign films were made in Thailand last year: 173 from Japan; and 83 from Europe. The initial aim of the new plan is to boost the total figure to 500 by the end of 2002, a spokesman said.

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