New market to be set up for food hawkers

New market to be set up for food hawkers

Traffic cones placed along Yaowarat Road, a top tourist spot renowned for street food, to ensure the safety of visitors, as part of the government’s steps to regulate street food vending. (Bangkok Post photo file)

An area for a new street food market will be designated soon under a memorandum of understanding between the Commerce Ministry and City Hall, in a move to help Bangkok hawkers displaced by the government’s clean-up campaign.

Deputy Commerce Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong said the ministry would sign the MoU with the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) next Thursday.

The scheme would centre on street food vendors affected by the city’s clean-up campaign. Street food hawkers and food trucks will be allowed to set up there, he said.

“We will provide the market which will be able to more than 200 food vendors affected by the policy. The area will become a landmark for street food. A parking lot will also be located near the market for customers’ convenience,” he said. 

Mr Sontirat did not say where the market would be, only that the ministry and city were trying to find a suitable location.

The move is in response to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s order to regulate street vending stalls and reclaim pavements for pedestrians in Bangkok. 

Mr Sontirat said the change will help maintain and improve the quality of street food, which has gained favour with foreign visitors, and bring economic prosperity.

Thailand was already renowned for its street food and its quality and cooking practices would be improved with the joint support of the ministry and City Hall, he said.

Mr Sontirat said 7-8 projects to enhance street food vending would be developed under the MoU. 

He believed the scheme would address vendors’ problems.

 Mr Sontirat said the ministry had also instructed the Internal Trade Department to make a feasibility study on food safety certification.

Local products certified by the ministry would be put on sale at state-run markets, he added.

 Last year CNN named Bangkok the world’s No.1 destination for street food.

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