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[Herald Interview] Thai convention and exhibition gateway to business in region

Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau organized a road show in the Seoul and Busan this week to promote the country’s trade shows as a preferred business platform in Southeast Asia.

To make it more attractive, the TCEB has put in place supporting policies for Korean businesses attending such trade shows in Thailand.

“Because of our geographical location, we are the gateway into and from Indochina with numerous direct flights connecting Bangkok to the world,” Supawan Teerarat, director of exhibitions, told The Korea Herald.

Korea is among Thailand’s top 10 trading partners with two-way trade amounting to $11 billion last year.

Several hundred Korean firms are currently located in Thailand.

“For businesses looking to capture opportunities in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, there is no better place to start than at Thailand’s international trade shows,” she said.

Thailand has been selected to host a wide-range of international trade shows, some of which have become flagship exhibitions in industries such as machinery, lifestyle and houseware, printing and packaging, food and livestock.

“These sectors offer great potential businesses for the Korean market,” she said. “The benefits to Korea are substantial when considering ASEAN as a single market and production base with relatively value for money labor cost, free flow of goods and services as well as free flow of capital.”

After the integration of the ASEAN Economic Community by 2015, Thailand ― with its strategic location in the heart of ASEAN and access to Indochina ― provides access to the buying power of more than 590 million people.

According to a report by The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI), in 2010 Thailand played host to the greatest number of international exhibitions in Southeast Asia, and is ranked number one in terms of spaces sold.

It is also the most profitable market in Southeast Asia, with estimated annual revenue of about $132 million.
Supawan Teerarat
Supawan Teerarat

“We position ourselves differently from our ASEAN neighbors,” said Teerarat.

To entice Korean firms into choosing Thailand as their preferred location for exhibitions into Southeast Asia, the TCEB has set up two campaigns.

The 100-a-head campaign is directed towards trade associations, federations, chambers of commerce, publications or travel agents who can attract at least 15 visitors to the trade shows in Thailand. For every person they bring, the TCEB will give $100 to encourage international exhibition participants to come to Thailand and get a first-hand experience of the country’s capability as a world-class exhibition destination.

The other program offered is a complimentary night at participating hotels given free when two or more nights are booked.

“Also we have a fast-track in the airport so that participants don’t have to wait through the long cues at immigration,” she said.

For a Thailand exhibition calendar, visit

By Yoav Cerralbo (
Korea Herald Youtube