The man with the magic adress book

The Nation - Monday, December 13, 2004

If you were to hold a training course on how to build contacts in a short period of time, then Uwe Morawetz's name would surely appear at the top of the list of those qualified to teach it.

The German-born chairman of the Vienna-based Board of Directors of the International Peace Foundation has been attracting a Who's Who list of people to Thailand and building up a huge contacts list within the Kingdom.

The former group includes dozens of Nobel Laureates and other important persons from various fields, including Nobel laureate for literature Sir VS Naipaul, opera-singer Jesse Norman, founder of the Body Shop Dame Anita Roddick, well-known black US politician Jesse Jackson and many more. Morawetz has used his formidable connections to organise two series of lectures entitled 'Bridges: Dialogues towards a Culture of Peace'.

His list of sponsors and partners in Thailand is equally amazing. The first seies of lectures, which ended earlier this year, included former prime minister Anand Panyarachun as chairman of the advisory board. Privy Councillor surayud Chulanont has filled the role during the second series, which is still in progress. Among the local guest attendance was Her Majesty Queen Sirikit.

Among the sponsors were the Dusit Thani Hotel, which offered free accomodation to guest speakers, and BMW Thailand, which provided 7-Series limousines decorated with 'Bridges' logos.

Since he the launch of his project three years ago, Morawetz has gone on to secure the patronage of HSH Prince Alfred of Liechtenstein and anassed a huge number of contacts in the Kingdom, from business leaders to academics and politicians.