Thai events organiser taps into Myanmar’s showbiz potential

Expecting a rise in construction, retail and hospitality business in Myanmar, Index Creative Village is planning trade fairs, cultural shows, exhibitions and on-the-ground marketing events there.

Co-chief executive officer Kriangkrai Kanjanapokin said yesterday Myanmar was transforming into a new era of development that needed infrastructure, real-estate projects, accommodation and transport.

This presented a huge opportunity for foreign investors, including Thai enterprises.

Through its joint-venture company ICVeX based in Yangon, Index Creative Village will next year hold “Myanmar FoodBev” and “Myanmar Retail Expo” from August 18-20 and the third edition of “Myanmar Build and Decor”, from October 6-8 at Myanmar Event Park, which is owned and managed by business partner Forever Group.

Kriangkrai said the construction industry in Myanmar was growing fast, with a compound average growth rate of 20 per cent. The residential and infrastructure sectors comprise almost 80 per cent of the industry, especially residential projects, which account for 49 per cent of investment value.

According to the Myanmar Department of Human Settlement and Housing Development, only 7,000 houses are currently being constructed but annual demand appears to be around 20,000 units. The government has indicated its willingness to cooperate with the private sector in the construction industry in key cities such as Yangon and Mandalay while carrying out construction in other areas of the country using government loans.

“We hope that ‘Myanmar Build and Decor’ will be a platform that enables Thai companies related to the construction industry to meet local developers for greater cooperation,” Kriangkrai said.

He also said there were lots of opportunities for retail business, which was being transformed from traditional to modern trade.

To cash in on this transformation, major retailer Siam Makro is reportedly keen on expanding its business in Myanmar.

However, Kriangkrai believes that traditional shops will also look at improving their service with new equipment and management systems from Thai companies on display at Myanmar FoodBev and Myanmar Retail Expo.

Apart from trade fairs, the company has also formed a joint venture with Suravath Pinsuwanbutr, the owner of Myanmar Alliance Travel and Tours, to offer marketing service for brands and products.

This service includes organising direct marketing, product demonstrations at points of sale, on-the-ground event and lucky draws.

Suravath said that after operating for two months, the JV had secured seven or eight projects. The tourism business is another area that Index Creative Village wants to focus on in the near future.

After entering a partnership with Bagan Myanmar, a travel and hotel operator, the company invested Bt50 million on light and sound equipment for the “Dandaree” cultural show. Kriangkrai hopes the show will hit break-even point within four or five years. Next year, he plans to introduce this show to international tourism operators at the “Asia Tourism Forum” in the Philippines, “ITB Berlin” in Germany and “World Travel Market” in Britain.

He said he was in talks with another company based in Yangon that is keen on a similar cultural show.

Source: The Nation

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