Singapore Thailand Updates

‘Grow Together’ policy in sharp focus for TCEB

The Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau reaffirms ties with Singapore to grow exhibitions industry across ASEAN.

In a show of ongoing industry collaboration, the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) recently held a business events forum in Singapore to highlight growth areas for the exhibition industry.

Speaking at the event, Thailand ambassador, Manopchai Vongphakdi, highlighted the importance of industry collaboration and the close bilateral ties that exist between Thailand and Singapore.

“In 2017, Thailand was Singapore’s third largest trading partner in ASEAN, and Singapore’s ninth largest trading partner in the world. Singapore was the second largest foreign investor to Thailand,” he said. “In term of MICE events, Thailand is highly delighted to be selected to host many Singaporean business and leisure’s events.”

Echoing the ambassador’s comments, TCEB’s exhibition director, Kanokporn Damrongkul, said Singapore organisers represent 17 per cent of all international trade shows in Thailand.

“As a government agency, TCEB aims to collaborate with Singaporean organisers to respond to the Thai’s government’s “Grow Together” policy with neighbouring ASEAN countries,” she said. “Greater economic ties and partnership will enhance our mutual benefits.”

TCEB aids exhibition organisers in ASEAN with a number of support schemes – both for newcomers and veterans.

The ‘Premier Exhibition Access Programme’ aims to ease new shows into the Thai market by facilitating intelligence research, business matchmaking, and infrastructure administrative support. Another scheme, ‘Exhibiz in Market’, aims to attract international pavilions with financial support.

Coupled with incentives for show organisers, Damrongkul believes the government’s ‘Thailand 4.0’ economic strategy (which looks to strengthen future growth industries such as digital enterprise, integrated medical services, and biotechnology) will provide a strong catalyst to spur business events in the country.

Vongphakdi also stated the Thai government is looking to ramp up infrastructure development in order to attract more international events to the Kingdom.

“We are accelerating infrastructure development projects to facilitate travel to and within the country. International airports in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket are now undergoing expansion and modernization, and road and rail links are being substantially upgraded. Connecting to a variety of destinations is now easier than ever.”

Expert opinion

The forum proceeded with a panel discussion (pictured) featuring Nino Gruettke, CEO of Targus Asia, Gerard Leeuwenburgh, Asia vice president for DMG Events, and Richard Ireland, managing director at Clarion Events Asia.

Panelists praised the Thai government’s support of the industry, pointed to the ease of doing business across the ASEAN region.

Leeuwenburgh said local stakeholders are important and help to engage the domestic market through a “localisation of knowledge”. Ireland, meanwhile, said the region’s exhibition industry continues to evolve and the most successful shows provide a “multi-sensory experience for both buyers and sellers”.