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Thai SMEs urged to tap markets in Cambodia and Saudi Arabia

Thai SMEs urged to tap markets in Cambodia and Saudi Arabia

Cambodia and Saudi Arabia are as the new oasis of opportunities for Thai small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to expand trade partners, thanks to the robust economic growth and surge in investment projects, according to state agencies.

This year, the Board of Trade of Thailand and the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion (OSMEP) have partnered with Index Creative Village to participate in four international trade fairs in the two countries: Cambodia Architect & DEcor 2024; Cambodia Foodplus Expo 2024; and Cambodia Health & Beauty Expo 2024, which will take place from August 2-4 at Diamond Island Convention and Exhibition Centre in Phnom Penh

The other major event is the International Mega Fair 2024 in Riyadh from Nov 15-17 at the Riyadh International Convention & Exhibition Centre.

The trade fairs will mainly focus on B2B markets, bringing Thai SMEs from diverse industries into contact with prospective buyers through business matching sessions.

Mek-Kreingkrai Kanjanapokin, the founder and group CEO, Index Creative Village – Thailand's leading international trade show platform – said that Cambodia was an attractive destination as the neighbouring country’s gross domestic product in 2024 was expected to grow more than 6.3% to US$35.16 billion.

Cambodia’s population will increase to 17.12 million with a young median age of 24. In addition, there is a surge in construction of mega-infrastructure and real estate including shopping malls and residential projects.

Because of Thailand’s strategic location in Asean, the country has a logistical advantage to boost trade ties with Cambodia, Mek said. This year, the countries are celebrating the 74th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations.

Mek added that trade shows in Cambodia over the past three years have been gaining interest, especially the Health & Beauty Expo, which has become the biggest show in the country. In 2023, the event recorded trade value of 142 million baht.

Sanan Angubolkul, chairman of the Board of Trade of Thailand, said that bilateral trade was expected to reach US$20 billion within 2025. In February this year, the Board of Trade of Thailand collaborated with the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce to host the Cambodia-Thailand Business Forum 2024 and also signed an MoU to strengthen trade and investment cooperation.

Speaking of opportunities in Saudi Arabia, Mek pointed to the second edition of the International Mega Fair scheduled to be held in Riyadh. The event is offering 30 per cent more space than last year.

The show will focus on mum and kids, food and beverage, health and wellness, tourism, fragrance, lifestyle, build and decor, automobile and auto parts, agriculture, and MICE industries.

Thailand-Saudi Arabia bilateral trade in 2024 is expected to increase by 20 per cent to US$12 billion. In a bid to boost business opportunities between the two countries, the Board of Trade of Thailand has urged the government to appoint a Minister Counsellor (Commercial) to Riyadh.

Meanwhile, Wachira Kaewkor, deputy director-general, Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion, said that the office would subsidise 50% of exhibition space cost for medium-sized enterprises each and 80% for small and micro enterprises.

This year, there are 30 potential Thai SMEs selected by the Board of Trade of Thailand to attend the International Mega Fair 2024 in Riyadh.

Read More: Here

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