Asia Lifestyle Expo to showcase Myanmar, ASEAN products
THE first Asia Lifestyle Expo will take place on August 21-23 next year at the Bangkok International Trade Exhibition Centre (BITEC) in Thailand, organisers Hong Kong-based Comasia Ltd and Thailand’s NCC Exhibition Organizer Co (NEO) announced.
The expo, comprising 500 booths, will provide manufacturers and buyers based in Southeast Asia access to opportunities to collaborate. The main target exhibitors are manufacturers and suppliers from Asia, covering companies located in Greater China, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, India, Indonesia, South Korea and Bangladesh. The event will provide a range of lifestyle products manufactured in Asia, including gifts, premiums, toys, household goods, tasteful home decor, accessories, trendy lifestyle products, consumer electronics and mobile device accessories. This will seek to tap into the rising consumer demand in ASEAN for quality designs and lifestyle products.
Crucially, the Myanmar Arts and Crafts Association will be taking part in the expo, showcasing what Myanmar has to offer.
Ajinveat Vhongthong, senior project manager at NCC, told The Myanmar Times that Myanmar businesses should take part in the event to look at how to ride on the country’s rising affluence. With the country modernising and opening up, the middle-income segment of the population will lead to an increasing demand for quality products, including lifestyle products. Hence, it is timely for Myanmar to go to the show in Bangkok and look for what is on the table.
In addition, he said, Myanmar’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMES) as well as retailers should showcase what they have to offer at the exhibition. As it is an ASEAN show, Myanmar has a pivotal role to play.
Mr Vhongthong added that ASEAN will be an important consumer market because of both its booming population on the whole and the emergence of an affluent middle and upper class.
“At the moment we have a population of around 600 million. I think it’s going up to 900 million in the next few years. And if you look at middleclass, I think in the past 3 years you have about 190 million but now it’s going up. That means we have more spending power,” he explained. With the emergence of the middle-class, ASEAN, currently already among the top 10 import markets worldwide, is set to grow in importance. There is a lot of room for member states within ASEAN to scale up trade within the bloc.
ASEAN and Belt and Road In recent years, ASEAN has become one of the fastest-growing regions in the world. Over the past decade, its GDP has increased on average 5 percent per year, coming behind only China and India.
Peter Cheung from Comasia said Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative has “given a major boost to trade cooperation and market integration along routes in Southeast Asia and the ASEAN countries”. This has fostered trade in consumer goods within the region.
“Thanks to the great market growth potential in the ASEAN region, there has also been an increase in trade-related activities, such as the development of the expo industry. It demonstrates that there is a great demand for more expos among manufacturers, buyers and businesses engaged in trade,” he commented.
Mr Cheung explained that Bangkok was chosen as the location because Thailand is an important transportation hub and holiday destination in ASEAN, with excellent facilities and infrastructure to attractive companies to visit
What is more, he observed, Thailand is strategically important in terms of business.
“The economies of Thailand and its four neighbouring CLMV [Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam] countries have grown in recent years. Trade in the CLMV countries and Thailand has also been on an upward trend.”
The Hong Kong government has two economic and trade office in ASEAN, with one in Singapore and the second one in Jakarta. The third one is planned to be in Bangkok.
Sakchai Pattarapleechakal from NEO said that ASEAN population has been dramatically growing not only purchasing demand but also specifically in high quality goods. The change in consumer behaviour, in particular, e-commerce, modern trade, retailers, convenience stores and online stores, have created many more possibilities in their lifestyle choice.
To know more about the 2019 Asia Lifestyle Expo, please go to https:// www.asialifestyleexpo.com.
Peter Cheung from Comasia speaks at the launch event in Hong Kong. Photos: Supplied