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History of the Ministry

1514
10.11.58

 

    "Tha Tian Ministry”, the Ministry of Commerce that is called by mass media because of its location in the area of Tha Tian, the battlefield of two ogres of Wat Chaeng and Wat Pho according to the legend that is well known by Thai people. And why is the Ministry of Commerce located here? ...
 
     In this regard, the record of Khun Wijit Matra (Sanga Kanchanakphan) states that ‘Once ministries had been established in the reign of King Rama V, ministers or generals often used their houses as establishments of ministries. However, the Ministry of Commerce had been established in the reign of King Rama VI due to there was still no own ministry in that time so that a building was newly established. According to the history retrieved by Khun Wijit Matra in 1950, the building of the Ministry of Commerce (Setthakarn) was built on a pennant triangular land with three access roads surrounding three sides, namely, Ket Road, Sanarm Chai Road, and Maharach Road. Formerly, this land and the surrounding area were the location of palaces, namely, Palace of Krom Muen Chetthathiben, Palace of Krom Luaang Adisorn Udomdej, Palace of Phra Ong Chao Ngonrot, Palace of Phra Ong Chao Piak, Palace of Krom Luang Badin Paisarn Sopon, Palace of Krom Muen Amaren Badin, Palace of Phra Ong Chao Lamyong, Palace of Krom Muen Tiwakorn Wong Prawat, etc.
 
 
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     The area of ​​the building of the Ministry of Commerce was the area of ​​three palaces, namely, Palace of Krom Luang Adisorn Udomdej, Palace of Krom Luang Badin Paisarn Sopon and Palace of Krom Muen Tiwakorn Wong Prawat. The building of the Ministry of Commerce was built in three floors with splendid views. The craftsmanship of the architects was elaborate. The patterns were in western style so that it looked like a modern building that was different from other establishments. The lowest floor was built specifically to be a central office of measurement directly. When the construction had been finished, the standard scales from the Ministry of Agriculture were installed as a cornerstone of the ministry that referred to trades until the present.

 

 

 

U296     The symbol or logo of the ministry in that period had interesting evolutions. In the former period of Ministry of Agriculture, the minister held the logo of Phra Pirun Song Nak. Phra Pirun is a god of water who ordains to rain. Nak is about the water. The logo of Phra Pirun Song Nak is about agriculture and farming which were importance since ancient times. When the Ministry of Commerce was established in 1920, it was announced to use the logo as pendant, ancient scale and rod tied in a pattern. This logo has a meaning of commerce according to the history of the ministry and the building as described previously. In this period, the Ministry of Commerce was announced to use indigo color as a sign of the ministry. Later, when the Ministry of Commerce had jointed with the Ministry of Transport, it was then called "The Ministry of Commerce and Transport". In 1926, the ministry had announced to use a logo of Wisanukram as a logo of the ministry. The color of the logo was changed to crimson. The logo of Wisanukram was a logo of the old position of the minister of Public Works. Later, it was changed to the Ministry of Transport and used the logo of Phra Rama Song Rot.

     When the duties of Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Commerce were merged and the duties of the Ministry of Commerce was considered as the most importance, the logo of Phra Wisanukram was used again because Phra Wisanukram is a god who expertise in engineering and construction. The logo of the Ministry of Commerce is therefore originated from the old logo and the tasks of forces were decreased and involved in the commerce increasingly. Currently, the logo of the ministry is still the logo of Phra Wisanukram. But the color of the ministry was changed to indigo as the same. On the large metal gate of the ministry, there are metal sheet with the logo of two thousand snakes intertwined. There are a couple of wings attached on both fronts of the gate. It is understood that the logo is a magic wand called Caduceus that belongs to Greek god named Hermes and called Mercurius by Romans. According to records of Greek, Hermes is the son of Zeus, the greatest god who are intelligent in inventions, such as Indian lute, letters, numeral and especially, scales. As a result, Hermes is worshiped by common merchants.

 

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     The Romans revered Hermes as a deity of commerce and transportation. The metal gates had the sign of Mercurius and Hermes, the gods of trade stuck together, it represented that this building was built for the Ministry of Commerce that really meets the legend. It can be remarked from the logo on the metal gate and the shape of the Ministry of Commerce that it was Western style. Actually, the Ministry of Commerce is a new ministry with Western look due to it was used for contacting with foreigners and had relationship in trading for a long period in Krom Tha Sai and Krom Tha Khwa. The building of the Ministry of Commerce began to work in 1922. As mentioned, it is the legend of the Ministry of Commerce as retrieved by Khun Wichitmattra.

 

 

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     Incidentally, the architecture shown in the building of the Ministry of Commerce was designed by an Italian architect named Mario Tamagno who came to work in Siam since 1900 in the the reign of King Rama V and designed many landmarks in Bangkok mutually with other architects, such as Amporn Satan Residence, Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall, the Marble Temple, and Phan Fa Lilat Bridge. However, in the reign of King Rama VI, Mario Tamagno designed Norasingha House, Phitsanulok House, race horse, Ministry of Commerce, and Ministry of Finance. For the stuccos that appear the exquisitely crafted designs in the Ministry of Commerce was the craftsmanship of Vittorio Novi, an architecture from Milan, Italy, who carved magnificent buildings in almost all of projects that were built in the reign of King Rama V and King Rama VI, such Phra Thinang Anantasamakhom and so on.

 

 

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      While the conditions of the country had developed increasingly, the government hadset a policy to widen the government agencies to the suburbs much more in order to reduce the congestion of downtown within Rattanakosin Island. After the building of the Ministry of Commerce of Thailand were used for over 70 years, it started to change into a new building in 1989. The cabinet had resolution on 29 September 1989 to approve the Ministry of Commerce to use the state property land of ​​48 rais of land in Bangkasor Sub-district, Mueang District, Nonthaburi, for construction of a new building for the Ministry of Commerce that had been used until now. The project of construction was divided into two stages. The university academic service center of Chulalongkorn University was hired to design and build the building under the control of the Department of Public Works.

 

 

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     Currently, the administrators of Ministry of Commerce have managed services for the public to facilitate the people who come in contact with the ministry to get the most comfort. Due to the establishment of the ministry had merged all key agencies to provide one stop services to the public with modern technology to facilitate communications. Also, the Ministry of Commerce can facilitate transportation by land and waterway. The Ministry will support the future growth not less than 10 years. Nonetheless, despite the establishment of Ministry of Commerce office has been being changed over 80 years ago, the missions of the ministry is still heading to provide consumer protection, support for agriculturists, export promotion, and protection of commercial interests of the country to promote "Commercial progress for Thailand progress" in the future.

 

 
 

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