BIG+BIH April 2014 to Reaffirm Thailand’s Status as ASEAN’s Design Central
The season of design is at the threshold, with the Bangkok International Gift Fair and Bangkok International Houseware Fair set to unlock the gates next month, to allow an estimated 40,000 people in on the best Asia has to offer in design, innovation and creativity in lifestyle goodies.
Indeed, 37th edition of BIG+BIH this April 19-23 will be a grand celebration of the creative DNA of designers across Asia. The twin events will underscore Thailand’s strength and leading position as ASEAN’s sourcing hub for lifestyle products, while also presenting manufacturers much opportunity to embark on new markets.
Bringing together serious numbers of leading producers and designers from Thailand and overseas, BIG+BIH April 2014 will demonstrate the latest trends in a whole array of lifestyle products.
Internationally-recognized as one of the biggest lifestyle fairs in the ASEAN region, BIG+BIH April 2014 bring together more than 600 leading entrepreneurs, plus emerging designers from Thailand, India, Indonesia, China, Malaysia, South Korea, Ghana, South Africa, Italy, Taiwan, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Myanmar, Cambodia, Nepal, Singapore and Japan. Spread over 40,000 square metres of floor space at BITEC will be more than 1,600 booths showcasing top-notch products – from gifts, premium products, lifestyle goodies, houseware designs, and innovative toys, to top quality stationery.
With over 200 booths representing members of the Thai Housewares Trade Association, its President Mr Niphon Ratana-arporn, stated: “In recent years, Thai houseware products and tableware products have enjoyed continuous expansion, with an impressive 10 per cent annual growth. Although the recent political movements may possibly halve that growth figure, I am positive that the industry will top the 5 per cent growth rate by the end of this year.”
Mr Niphon added, “Thanks to the unique designs and premium quality of products, Thailand has scored very well. South Korea was a strong competitor in the past, but after the price of raw materials increased, many buyers chose to place their orders with Thai manufacturers instead. In order to earn the customers’ trust, we must overlook our profit margins and deliver the best. ‘What’s best for the customer’ is truly the key to this industry’s success”. Mr Niphon was confident the BIG+BIH will once again score marvelously as the top trade expo on the latest trends from dynamic Thai designers.
Meanwhile, Mr Jirabool Vittayasing, Secretary-General of Thai Lifestyle Products Federation (TLPF) shared his ideas in developing the lifestyle industry. “Undeniably, the political situation has not only cast a shadow on buyers’ confidence, it has also caused small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to suffer a shortage of liquidity. My suggestion is that involved government agencies should provide support for SMEs promptly. And by using existing projects like “SMEs Pro-active” which has a budget of over 300 million baht, and the Innovative Funds from the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), the SMEs will quickly be able to get back on track and accelerate business growth,”. Mr Jirabool said.
Speaking on expanding and securing new markets, both Mr Niphon and Mr Jirabool shared the opinion that Thai producers have to adapt and improve in order to expand to big markets like Australia, Russia, Africa and Japan. Both said those key players are at present reducing their orders from China. Therefore, Thai manufactures should snap up this great opportunity, by having the government spearhead the move to attract the key players.
The TLPF’s Secretary-General disclosed, “In order to gain back confidence among trade visitors worldwide, the TLPF has informed international buyers that the political situation in Bangkok has finally returned to normal and the venue is absolutely safe and secure. Besides, all amenities are in place to make everything most pleasant. Our main buyers will likely be regular customers from the United States, Europe and Asia.”
Last year’s BIG+BIH attracted 7,487 trade buyers from around the world. It is expected that this year the twin fairs will welcome at least 7,500 buyers during trade days and over 40,000 visitors on public days; immediate purchase orders are expected to total an impressive one billion baht, from major buyer countries, namely, America, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Germany, Taiwan, Hong Kong, England, Australia, France and China.
BIG+BIH April 2014 takes place at BITEC, Bangna. Exclusive trade days are from April 19-21, from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. The general public will be welcome on April 22 from 10 a.m. till midnight, and April 23 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
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