Asia Life­style Expo to show­case Myan­mar, ASEAN prod­ucts

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - International Business - MYAN­MAR TIMES

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

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