TCEB President Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya explained at the signing of an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Thursday (Apr 25) , “The signing of this MoU – The Development and Promotion of MICE – between the TCEB and the Foreign Chamber Alliance (FCA), comprising four chambers of commerce representing our main target countries, which are Australia, UK, USA and Germany, is considered another remarkable step of TCEB in altering our role to leverage MICE by serving as a business partner who joins hands with foreign organisations to promote the development of Thai MICE in international markets, as well as to penetrate into long haul MICE markets in Oceania, Europe and the USA, side by side with our main short haul target markets in Asia.
“Indeed, the collaboration is a new dimension of promoting Thai MICE business in long-haul markets with concentration on Oceania, Europe and the USA. This is the very first time that the Foreign Chamber Alliance has signed an MoU with a Thai government agency.
“Interestingly, the FCA has more than 20,000 members that include businessmen, investors, entrepreneurs from business, industrial and service sectors, such as Minor Hotels Group, AccorHotels Group, Marriott Hotels Group, convention centres business, as well as oil, mining, pharmaceutical, automobile and other industries,” he added.
“These are considered high-potential business groups for propelling the national economy and are included among the targeted industries that the Thai government is keen to encourage in line with the 4.0 Policy.
“For this reason, this is a lucrative opportunity for us to collaborate to develop and raise the competitiveness of Thai MICE. The four chambers of commerce have recognised the importance of using MICE as the gateway to the development of commerce and investment in Thailand and Asean,” he said.
With this MoU, the framework for the development of MICE business will embrace five dimensions of operation:
- The sharing of MICE statistics and events
- MICE business development
- MICE market promotion
- MICE business research
- MICE personnel development
Mr Chiruit further said, “The initial collaboration to mutually promote MICE business will mainly focus on hospitality service, because members of the FCA have long records of investment in Thailand, which have been running alongside their nationwide service businesses. Hence, they have eyed to extend collaboration with Thai government agencies, as they believe the endeavour will open a new door to operate MICE business in Thailand and Asean.
“This, in turn, will allow them to study about the dynamics and direction of the Thai MICE market. By joining with TCEB in formulating a marketing development scheme, the synergy will open a new door to connecting with other alliances who relate with the promotion of Thai MICE business in targeted countries. Moreover, there will be co-operation in drawing international events into Thailand, marketing promotion and provision of support for events previously held in Thailand.
“Target groups and alliances will be invited to participate to strengthen the potential of MICE events held here in Thailand. The FCA will join with us in the exchange of marketing information related to targeted industries held by allied chambers of commerce and TCEB will exchange information on Thai MICE business, including statistics and events, to fully bolster mutual MICE business development,” said the TCEB President.
“Nevertheless, the FCA expects the Thai government to leverage the competitiveness of Thai MICE business in order to serve global competition. For example, facilitation of customs and immigration procedures; development of infrastructure and transportation; construction of convention centres; development of MICE personnel that meets international standards, and establishment of One-Stop-Service MICE centres. All of which will open a new door to the holding of MICE events in Thailand by efficiently offering enhanced convenience for MICE entrepreneurs and organisers,” he declared.
Proposals to establish MICE service centres has been included in TCEB’s earlier strategic plan, and the Ease of Doing Business project as well as the draft of a national strategy of NESDB (National Economic and Social Development Council).
Mr Chiruit went on to explain, “After the completion of MoU signing, TCEB is set to discuss with the FCA on the preparation of Phase I work plan, which lasts two years. Both parties will encourage practical co-operation in a rapid and consistent manner. Initially, we have planned to attract events and provide support to the holding of events that relate to targeted industries according to the government’s 4.0 Policy, particularly in the provinces governed by the administration of EEC (Eastern Economic Corridor),” he said.
“The TCEB expects that the collaboration will not only leverage the competitiveness of Thai MICE in long-haul markets in Oceania, Europe and the USA, but will also help to attract international events into several regions in Thailand, especially those considered main markets in MICE City project, which are Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, Chiang Mai and Khon Kaen. Definitely, we believe the rapport will encourage transfers of technology and knowledge of each industry among one another, and thus will promote advancement in all regions and stimulate income distribution to communities nationwide.”
Benjamin Krieg, Vice President, Austcham, explained, “The role of the Foreign Chamber Alliance (FCA) in Thailand and the purpose of signing the MoU combines key Foreign Chambers and their members through this important collaboration, we provide a common voice on advocacy to develop and grow opportunities that can benefit our members and the country of Thailand,” he said.
“The MICE industry is growing, and will also continue to grow in importance and contribution to the overall tourism sector within Thailand, and of course the greater Thai economy. Our primary aim is to continue to increase and grow the competitiveness of Thailand as a leading destination for MICE not only within Asia, but the world, further complimenting the amazing tourism industry that we already are so fortunate to be a part of,” he concluded.