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Serm said, by his experiences as a student in the United States.
'A Negative Image' ''Most Americans,'' he said, ''don't know the difference between Taiwan and Thailand.'' Those who do, he added, ''have a negative image of Thailand from the 60's - the Vietnam War and refugees - and don't want to think about those times.'' Mr.
'Act of Nationalism' Seven-hundred-year-old Siam became Thailand - temporarily in 1939 and permanently in 1949 - not to rid itself of a colonial past.
This was the only Southeast Asian country not to fall under European domination.
The years after the Second World War saw a resurgence of the industry, which used 16 mm film to produce hundreds of films, many of them hard-driving action films.
Competition from Hollywood brought the Thai industry to a low point in the 1980s and 1990s, but by the end of the 1990s, Thailand had its "new wave", with such directors as Nonzee Nimibutr, Pen-Ek Ratanaruang and Apichatpong Weerasethakul as well as action hero Tony Jaa being celebrated at film festivals around the world.
European and American films were called nang farang (after the nang drama (shadow puppet plays) that were a Thai traditional art).
Auguste and Louis Lumière had a film exhibition that toured in Southeast Asia in 1894, and on 9 June 1897, "the wonderful Parisian cinematograph" was screened in Bangkok, and is the first known film screening in Thailand.
Japanese businessmen opened the first permanent cinema, the Japanese Cinematograph, in 1905.
Too many foreigners, the ministry says, link the country with piracy, child labor, exported prostitution and a domestic sex industry that leaves nothing to the imagination.
''We want people to see we are an old country with a long history,'' said Sawanit Kongsiri, the Foreign Ministry spokesman.