Why Thailand

Connecting Hub

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    Thailand is the centre of Asia’s MICE business. With its strategic location in the heart of ASEAN, Thailand is a connecting point to the rest of Asia. The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (Public Organisation), or TCEB, has formulated a strategic plan for the development of the Thai MICE industry. TCEB’s plan includes co-operation with strategic partners in the ongoing development of the 10 key MICE cities across the country. Additionally as it has established regional conference and exhibition promotion offices in the country’s four regions that work with government agencies and the private sector to support MICE events and organisers across the country. TCEB is working proactively to continue to develop Thailand’s MICE industry and create sustainable models of prosperity to lay the foundations for Thailand to be the centre of Asia’s MICE business.  TCEB continues its close work with provincial authorities and local associations, agencies, and entrepreneurs to build awareness and employment opportunities across the country, ready to unlock MICE opportunities with a formula based on the principles of “Revive, Support and Promote”. The aim is to push the Thai MICE industry to the forefront of the Asian MICE landscape and seek out every opportunity to help revitalise all aspects of the nation’s economy.

1. Strategic Location

Thailand is a key link between countries in Asia, with economic ties spanning the continent that include the transfer of goods, services, skilled labour, trade and investment. Thailand is the continent’s gateway between ASEAN and the rest of Asia. It is also an important production and export base for many of the world’s major industries, including the automobile and automobile component industries, computers and IT industries.

  •   Exports

According to the Ministry of Commerce’s figures, Thailand’s exports for the month of February 2024 totalled US$23,384.9 million, equivalent to THB 827,139 million, an increase of 3.6% and marking seven months of consecutive growth. For January and February 2024, the total export value was US$46,034.7, or THB 1,611,619 million, representing an increase of 6.7%. With continued recovery in the manufacturing sector and healthy economic growth in Thailand’s major trading partners, the strong export trend is expected to continue. Agricultural products are seeing increased demand, the bounce back of the tourism sector is driving demand for agro-industrial goods, while the export of electronics continues to grow in line with digital economic trends. The Ministry of Commerce also continues to work closely with the private sector to push sales of Thai SME products on the global market.    

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  •   Establishing New Businesses and Investment in the Country

According to the Department of Business Development, in the first two months of 2024 (January-February), 17,270 new businesses were registered across the country with a combined registered capital of THB 45,794.41 million. This figure represents 267 more new registrations compared with the same period in 2023, reflecting 1.57% growth. The amount of registered capital increased by THB 5,807.51 million, or 14.52%, year-on-year. The three sectors with the highest number of new registrations were: general building construction with 1,378 registrations and THB 3,020.9 million in registered capital; real estate, with 1,311 company registrations and THB 5,275.2 million in capital; and the restaurant sector with 743 registrations and capital investment totalling THB 1,374.09 million. 

Interestingly, signifcant growth in new company registrations was seen in the e-commerce, or internet retail, sector. In January and February 2024 there were 479 new businesses registered in this sector with a total registered capital of THB 555.06 million. This represented 2.77% of total new registrations, and 1.21% of the total registered capital for the two-month period. This figure is an increase of 116 registrations, or 31.96%, compared to the first two months of 2023, and an increase of THB 137.43 million, or 32.91%, in registered capital. The first two months of 2023 saw a total of 363 new business registrations in the e-commerce sector with a total registered capital of THB 417.63 million. 

The continued investment interest in Thailand from both local and foreign entrepreneurs is supported by a number of factors, including growth in private-sector consumption, the ongoing recovery of the export sector, and the resumption of large-scale government infrastructure projects that were delayed or halted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Interest has been further stimulated by bio-circular-green-economy (BCG)-model economic policies which have proved eco-friendly and economically beneficial.

  •  Investment Promotion Measures in 2024

The Board of Investment (BOI) has approved a number of investment promotion measures for the year 2024 focussing on five key missions which include:

1) Strategies targeting five key industries: the BCG economy, electric vehicles (EV), electronics, digital, and regional office affairs. The initiative is focussed on attracting investment from Japan, China, South Korea, the USA, and European nations. 

2) Improving the environment for doing business by promoting free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations with key trading partners, and advocating the use of clean energy.

3) Attracting highly-skilled personnel from overseas via the Long-term Resident Visa and improving the One Stop Service centre for visas and work permits.

4) Connecting Thai entrepreneurs into the supply chains of targeted industries such as EVs and printed circuit boards.

5) Enhancing competitiveness and environmental friendliness for entrepreneurs in modern industry, including using energy-efficient machinery, utilising renewable energy sources, and employing automated systems and robotics. 

These measures are being implemented as part of a 5-year investment promotion strategy (2023 – 2027) to restructure the Thai economy into a “new economy” aimed at stimulating further investment in the country. 

2. Easy Access

    Thailand enjoys a strategic location in Asia, and is well-equipped with public facilities and utilities, including international convention centres. The country also boasts 10 designated MICE cities - Bangkok, Khon Kaen, Chiang Mai, Nakhon Ratchasima, Phitsanulok, Pattaya, Phuket, Songkhla, Surat Thani, and Udon Thani - which offer a variety of options for organising a diverse range of MICE activities.   

  •   Airports 

Airports of Thailand (AOT) is responding to the government’s aim of becoming a global aviation hub and one of the five largest regional distribution centres with 46 projects currently underway. These include eight urgent airport development projects, as well as plans for the consruction of new airports and upgrading of existing facilities across the country, such as Phuket International Airport, and Chiang Mai International Airport. 

The AOT is also working with Thai Airways to promote Suvarnabhumi International Airport as a leading global aviation hub, focussing on developing route networks and flight connection efficiency, reducing minimum connecting times, extending pre-check in periods, managing the close-to-building parking (contact gates), and management of the Main Terminal and concourses C, D, and E. These efforts are designed to facilitate Thai Airways and Star Alliance partner passengers. Discussions are also ongoing to enhance the aircraft maintenance capabilities at both Don Muang and Suvarnabhumi Airports. 

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Credit: Public Relations Department Facebook Page

  •   Pattani Bypass Construction Project

The Department of Highways (DOH) has revealed that its Construction Office #1 has completed the Pattani Bypass Road project which extends from the junction of Highway #418 (One Coconut Tree House) to Yarang district from Km marker 7,800 to Km 22,000 through Katow sub-district, Nong Chik district to Yarang district in Pattani province, covering a total distance of 14,200 kilometres and with a budget of 1,851,933,109 baht. The project is now open to the public. It is expected that in its first month of service it will see 5,000 vehicles per day, with a capacity to accommodate from 10,000 up to 20,000 vehicles daily. The project will aid transport efficiency through convenience, the capability for higher-speed travel, and safety, and is part of the government initiative to promote Nong Chik district in Pattani as a model city for integrated advanced agricultural and industrial development for the public benefit. 

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Credit: Department of Highways Facebook Page

3. New Development

  •   Transportation System Development

The Ministry of Transport is currently expediting the study phase of a project to develop a prediction model for rail travel demand, and Phase 2, or M-MAP 2, of the expansion of the mass transit network in Bangkok and surrounding areas. The pilot route for Phase 2 will be the 7.5-kilometre extension of the network’s Green Line from Bang Wa to Taling Chan, with a budget of 14 billion baht. The new extension will begin at Bang Wa station where it connects with the Green Line’s connection to the Silom Line’s Taksin-Phetkasem extension. The route follows Ratchapruek Rd. passing through the Bang Waek Rd. (Soi Charoensanitwong 13) intersection, and the Pranok-Phuttamonthon Sai 4 intersection.  

  •   Technology Development

The Big Data Institute (BDI), a public organisation under the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, is advancing the use of big data and AI to drive the economy and society in the digital age. Its focus is on developing platforms that integrate data, innovate artificial intelligence, and develop data management in the workforce, with the aim of enhancing key industries crucial to the Thai economy. Its three main projects are: 

1) Project B.I.G.: Focussing on collecting data from various agencies and providing data analysis services. This includes big data analysis services for government agencies, and data engineering services such as the Health Link and Travel Link projects.  

2) Project Bridge: This project aims to develop entrepreneurs by creating both demand and supply for data science through its initiatives including Big Data Business Promotion, Big Data Ecosystem & Industrial Promotion, Research & Innovation, and Thai Large Language Model (ThaiLLM). 

3) Project Learn: focusses on developing the Big Data workforce by providing training programmes and practical learning to improve the skills and capabilities of individuals in the digital age. It focusses on developing data analysts and data engineers by providing online learning services to upgrade exisiting, and develop new, skills in the workforce. 

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Credit: BDI – Big Data Institute Facebook Page 

  •    Personnel Development

    TCEB participated in the GCNT Forum 2023 to drive sustainability initiatives focussed on accelerating the development of human capital as we enter the era of 5.0 – a society of sustainable intelligence where humans and technology are seamlessly integrated. This era, also known as a Sustainable Intelligence-Based Society, or “SI Society” emphasises awareness of, and commitment to, sustainability. The event was organised by Global Compact Network Thailand (GCNT) highlighting its commitment to advancing these ideals in Thailand. GCNT, in collaboration with the United Nations in Thailand, is a sustainability partner agency of TCEB propelling the largest sustainability-driven business network in Thailand. The more than 100 network members are ready to raise the level of management and organisation of sustainable events. The network facilitates sustainable practices within the MICE industry and ensures that local practices are aligned with international standards and policies, thus enhancing Thailand’s position as a leading provider of sustainable socially- and environmentally-responsible business practices. 

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Credit: MICE in Thailand Facebook Page

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