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Thailand’s Convention Business Takes Off with the Debut of 11 International Trade Shows; GDP Expands 4.5 Percent in Q3

FRANCES FERRANTE, SENIOR EDITOR
The QSNCC in Thailand

BANGKOK—After two years of pandemic standstill, Thailand has emerged as one of the most promising destinations in Asia for international as well as regional and local shows. The country experienced a 4.5% expansion in GDP in Q3 of 2022, largely due to tourism, according to the Thai National Economic and Social Development Council. 

From May to September, 11 international trade shows made their debut in Thailand: Asia Pacific Rail 2022; Byond Mobile (5G); Future Mobility Asia 2022; Maintenance, Industrial Robotics, and Automation (MiRA); Bio Asia Pacific 2022; Cosmoprof CBE ASEAN 2022; Building and Construction Technology; Enlit Asia 2022; Solar+Storage Asia 2022 (SSA); Manufacturing Transformation (MATRA) Thailand 2022; and ASEAN Tools Expo. 

Add to that the September debut of Bangkok’s new Queen Sirikit National Convention Center (QSNCC), which is five times bigger than the original venue with more than 3.2 million square feet of space, including 845,000 square feet of exhibition space, and the prospects for 2023 and beyond look bright. Last week’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit attracted officials from throughout Asia-Pacific, with special guests including Chinese President Xi Jinping, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.  

A sign of confidence from the business events industry was the International Congress and Convention Association’s (ICCA’s) decision to choose Bangkok to host its annual general meeting, the 62nd ICCA Congress, from Nov. 12-15, 2023. The Congress is attended by members who represent more than 1,000 private and public organizations from more than 100 countries. 

Related. QSNCC Targets Trade Show Industry With New Expansion 

At present, the ratio of events being booked at QSNCC is 60% international and 40% local or regional organizers. However, two of the 11 new shows in 2022 were held in Pattaya, the exhibition hub for the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC). Both covered smart manufacturing and industrial automation, the focus of many businesses based in the region. 

The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) has launched a development plan for the growth of domestic exhibitions in 2023 that includes financial incentives of up to 1 million Thai baht (more than $27,700) per show for domestic exhibitions in five industries: food, agriculture and bio-technology; health and medical technology; smart devices, robotics and automation, Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence; alternative energy, automotive and logistics; and creative economy, culture and tourism.  

“Our support for shows with a ’Thailand 4.0’ orientation is a policy-level commitment to using trade shows as a tool to drive trade and investment in the strategic industries of the ‘Thailand 4.0’ economic transformation plan,” Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, TCEB President, said. “We are glad to have helped organizers maximize their return on investment and given the industry a timely boost.” 

Reach Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya at chiruit_i@tceb.or.th 

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