Thailand’s virtual trade fair nets $123 million in deals

Covid-19 may cut down on travel in general, but in Thailand it is not stopping trade: Thailand’s business community signed deals worth $123 million during a three-day business-matching fair last month that was held virtually.

Subcon Thailand 2020, the largest annual subcontracting trade show in Southeast Asia, took place in a hybrid fashion. Most attendees were mainly online, but some participants did turn up at an exhibition hall in the Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Centre (BITEC).

The Board of Investment (BOI) reported that local and foreign business representatives took part in 1,277 business-matching sessions, most of which were conducted online from September 23 through 26.

“This is better than expected and it is quite a success” said Sonklin Ploymee, Executive Director of the BOI’s Industrial Linkage Development Division.

“This was the first time we organized business matching online, so we did not expect that so many buyers would register in advance, showing a strong need to enter our business matching activities,” Sonklin said.

Thailand has a vibrant meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions (MICE) industry with dozens of trade shows and fairs every year. MICE is essential as part of the tourism industry and also for many other businesses that choose Thailand as a place to meet and do deals.

The Covid-19 pandemic was a threat to derail this vital platform for commerce and trade. Thailand’s government and business community have been innovating to try and keep the wheels of commerce turning in spite of travel bans.

“Despite Covid-19 and travel restrictions across the world, the show was a big hit and successfully delivered business opportunity, business linkage and business collaboration between exhibitors, buyers, and entrepreneurs,” Informa Markets said on its website.

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