The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) is implementing four economic corridor projects, co-hosting and supporting conferences to enhance trade and investment with neighbouring countries of in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS).
These projects were initiated with GMS countries Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, and are in line with the Thai government’s economic policy to strengthen Thailand’s position as a regional hub, as well as promote the country’s regional cities.
The first conference to gain support is the International Conference on Luang Prabang-Indochina-Mawlamyine Economic Corridor (LIMEC), which spans two cities in Laos, five Thai provinces in the lower northern region, and three cities in the south-eastern part of Myanmar. Run by the Provincial Chapters of the Federation of Thai Industries, Provincial Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Council of Thailand and co-hosted by TCEB, the conference has been held in Thailand for the fifth consecutive year since 2015, each attracting between 400 to 500 delegates. TCEB’s involvement has contributed to 20 business exchanges in 2018 alone, totalling 226 million baht (US$7.4 million) in such sectors as agriculture, food, construction, logistics, health and tourism.
Next, the Cambodia-Vietnam-Thailand Economic Corridor Cooperation Conference (CVTEC) was hosted in 2018 in Pattaya and 2019 in Rayong. In Rayong, an MoU was signed between the three countries to open oceanic transportation routes along the southern coast of Vietnam, Cambodia and eastern coast of Thailand in the four Thai provinces of Trat, Chanthaburi, Rayong and Chonburi. Run by the Thai Chamber of Commerce, Thailand-Cambodia Business Council and Tourism Council of Thailand and co-hosted by TCEB, the conference aims to promote trade, tourism, logistics and business travel between the three countries. The trial operation of the oceanic transportation route will begin in 2020 when table-top business sessions will be launched with TCEB’s support for the first time.
The third, the GMS Logistic Forum started in Bangkok in 2018 and the second edition was held in Khon Kaen in 2019. Both editions attracted around 450 delegates, mostly logistics operators from the six GMS countries. Table-top sessions were launched at the event this year, leading to 112 business matching with the total value of 12 million baht. Undertaken by GMS Freight Transport Association (FRETA), Mekong Institute, GMS-BC, Thai Federation of Industries (Khon Kaen Chapter) and co-hosted by TCEB, the event is the first GMS-level logistic conference and complemented Khon Kaen’s potential as a logistic hub of the GMS region due to its current infrastructure investment.
Rounding up the list is the GMS Thailand e-Commerce Economic Corridor (GTEC). TCEB hosted the debut event in Chiang Rai this July to provide a platform to link Thai entrepreneurs with Chinese e-commerce platform operators, resulting in the placement of orders for Thai products worth 70 million baht. TCEB’s aim is to drive GTEC as e-commerce economic corridor and plans to stage GTEC annually and rotate to all regions of Thailand, starting with the north-east in 2020 and the southern region in 2021. GTEC is run by Thai-Chinese Strategic Research Centre, International College of Digital Innovation (Chiang Mai University), Ministry of Commerce Biz Club, and Thai-Shenzhen Friendship Association.
Nichapa Yoswee, TCEB’s senior vice president – business, said in a statement: “TCEB has a policy of using conferences and tradeshows as a tool to drive economic growth and generate economic impacts. So far, four conferences have been held in regional provinces located in the economic corridors that connect with GMS countries.
“Co-hosted and supported financially by TCEB, the conferences have gathered entrepreneurs from Thailand, CLMV and GMS to form networks and join table-top sessions for business exchange. The total value of business exchange between 2018 and 2019 is now standing at 307 million baht.”