Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) in collaboration with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) and Chamber of Commerce of the Philippine Islands (CCPI) join forces to forge new MICE frontiers, entering a new era of ASEAN MICE leadership. The Memorandum of Understanding Signing Ceremony saw agreements between Thailand’s public sector and Philippines private sector organizations, collaborating to further improve and expand trade promotion and MICE industries between the two countries.
Speaking at the MOU Signing Ceremony on behalf of an official Thai counterpart, Mr Nopparat Maythaveekulchai, TCEB’s President said, “As a government agency under the Prime Minister’s Office, The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau, or TCEB, is mandated to promote Thailand’s meetings, incentive travels, conventions and exhibitions – or MICE – industry. Thailand’s MICE sector has been growing strongly in recent years. In 2012 we welcomed 895,224 MICE visitors, exceeding our annual target by 19 per cent, with 7,382 MICE events and earnings of US$2.66 billion. MICE travelers from Asia have been largely responsible for this strong growth, representing 65 per cent of all MICE travelers last year. The Philippines is one of Thailand’s priority countries.”
The bilateral relationship between Thailand and The Philippines has long been established since 1949 – and trades and investment is vibrant. A 2012 report from the Thai Ministry of Commerce (MOC) ranked the Philippines as the 12th export destination for Thai products with total value amounting to US$ 4,861.17 million. The same report showed that the Philippines was Thailand’s 20th largest supplier of goods in 2012, with trade valued at US$2,724.21 million.
As an Asian economy on the rise, The Philippines will play an important role in contributing to the success of Thailand’s MICE industry. Last year, The Philippines was ranked ninth in terms of numbers of MICE visitors to many business events in Thailand, accounting for 16,745 MICE visitors in total. In addition, TCEB expects the figure to grow by a further 10 per cent in 2013, in line with the dynamism and rapid growth of the broader economy. The formation of the AEC in 2015 will take this positioning to a whole new dimension, when the 10 member states of ASEAN will become a single market with free flow of goods, services, skilled labour and investment. The MOU agreements will amplify TCEB’s ongoing efforts to further improve and expand trade promotion and MICE industry between Thailand and The Philippines.
The Memorandums also highlight the importance of a long-term strategic partnership in the MICE industry in order to create long-term competitiveness and sustainability for the service sectors of the Philippines and Thailand in the international arena. There will also be exchange of support and business trade missions to launch, transplant, and participate in successful trade shows, and meeting industry initiatives.
Underlining the importance of building strategic partnerships, Mr Nopparat added, “The two agreements that we are launching today will play a central role in driving this growth. This is the start of a long-term strategic partnership among our organisations that will be of immense benefit to our respective MICE industries and to the broader economic partnership between The Philippines and Thailand.”
Following the agreements, which prioritize the cooperation between the two countries especially in the areas of trade missions, business promotions and information exchange, TCEB will continue to work closely with all strategic counterparts to further propel Thailand’s MICE industry. The meetings and incentives focused activities also include the Bangkok Carousel: TCEB-TG Philippines Familiarization Trip 2013, and the Philippines Roadshow with the Association of Thai Tourism Marketing (ATTM). Apart from cooperation within the meetings and incentives frameworks, Thailand also has opportunities to showcase the advance in major industries in Thailand and the ASEAN region in several flagship business events including Horti Asia for the agriculture industry, Propak Asia for the manufacturing industry, Food & Hotel Thailand for the food and hospitality services industry, and Thailand Lab for the medical industry. All of these offer an ideal platform for market players from The Philippines.
This year Thailand has welcomed a number of MICE visitors from the Philippines in several exhibitions such as VIV Asia, ISRMAX Asia, THAIFEX – World of Food Asia, Food Ingredient Asia and TFBO & TRAFS, and in meetings and incentives groups including Yokohama Tires Philippines. In addition, Thailand is home to a wide range of international MICE events, including the 65th World Newspaper Congress, 20th World Editor Forum, 23rd World Advertising Forum, 11th International Congress on Aids in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP) 2013, Herbalife Asia Pacific Extravaganza 2013 and ITU TELECOM WORLD 2013.
“In line with the 10 per cent growth target for the Philippines market, TCEB also expects Thailand’s overall MICE industry to continue to grow by 10 per cent by revenue, with a year-end target for 2013 of 940,000 visitors and earnings of US$3.14 billion. With the strong collaboration between TCEB, PCCI and CCPI, we are confident that we will be able to achieve our goal in the near future.” Mr Nopparat concluded.