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  • Antony Reeve-Crook

WMM helps Thailand find trade partnerships with UK private sector

In a resounding vote of confidence for UK Plc, the Government of Thailand has been courting UK business in an effort to give British enterprise a platform in South East Asia.

The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), a public sector body that reports directly to the Thai Prime Minister, visited London in May to promote the country to UK companies seeking a springboard into South East Asia through international trade events.

“The UK is home to seven of the world’s leading international trade show organisers, including by far the two largest – Reed Exhibitions and the recently rebranded Informa Markets,” said TCEB senior vice president Ms Nichapa Yoswee, pictured right with Farnborough International Limited chief executive Gareth Rogers.

“We are keen to demonstrate the growth of our market, and the surrounding Association of South East Asian Nations, to other companies either active in Thailand, or considering Thailand as a launch pad into Asia,” she added.

The event, organised by UK-based business matchmaking and publishing agency WMM, included two days of meetings with leading UK trade show organisers and concluded with an exclusive dinner for senior business executives actively considering launching or expanding in South East Asia, hosted by Thailand’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom, His Excellency Pisanu Suvanajata, pictured top.

The business roadshow also saw TCEB sign an accord with Farnborough International Limited (FIL), organiser of the market-leading Farnborough International Airshow, to evaluate the possibility of organising a similar event under license in Thailand. The partnership, facilitated by WMM, saw FIL present the first phase of its feasibility study to the Thai delegation in London, a strategic partnership that will hopefully give FIL and its affiliates a foothold in South East Asia. “The United Kingdom is a top priority for Thailand and the role of organisations such as TCEB, which work as a local partner for companies such as FIL, has never been more valuable to UK businesses looking to trade outside the European Union,” said Arcimedia and WMM Director Antony Reeve-Crook. “By connecting these overseas delegations with trade show organisers rather than individual companies, they are essentially connecting with the hundreds – if not thousands – of companies represented at these global events.” Ongoing market consolidation in the UK’s own trade show industry is set to increase the reach and accessibility of British-owned international trade events. In May the London-based organiser Tarsus was acquired by Private Equity firm Charterhouse Capital Partners for more than £550m, while in January the St Albans-based Mack Brooks Exhibitions was acquired by the world’s second-largest organiser Reed Exhibitions for a reported £200m. Tarsus operates 160-plus events around the world, while Mack Brooks runs more than 30.

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