Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health, Mr. Anutin Charnvirakul, and leaders of the Thai private sector have a formal meeting to discuss collaboration in supporting Thailand’s bid to host Expo 2028 Phuket Thailand.
With the bidding process approaching its final stages, Thailand is competing with other four candidate countries, while the announcement of the host country is scheduled in June.
The collaborative meeting held to bolster Thailand’s candidature to host the Expo 2028 Phuket Thailand (Specialised Expo) takes place at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center (QSNCC). The aim is to discuss and exchange ideas on crafting collaborative approaches and implementing them through the Thai private sector’s business network located overseas in order to gain confidence of the committee of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) and secure votes from 171 member countries of the BIE. The discussed collaboration includes the joint public relation of the bid in order to generate united support of the Thai public.
Mr. Anutin Charnvirakul, Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of Thailand Candidature Committee for the Expo 2028 Phuket Thailand, ensured the private sector during his opening remarks that the Thai government has been fully committed to the hosting of the Specialised Expo in Phuket. The budgetary framework of over 4.18 billion baht is now approved by the cabinet for the bid. To underscore the importance of the bid, Mr. Anutin outlined the four main benefits Thailand will reap from hosting the expo in Phuket:
1. Economic benefit – It is expected that the Specialised Expo will attract 4.92 million visitors from 106 countries, generating a circulation of over 49.231 billion baht in revenue and more than 39.357 billion baht in value to the country’s gross domestic product.
2. City development – The Specialised Expo will enhance the development of Phuket and beyond, particularly the provinces in the Andaman cluster – Krabi, Trang, Phang Nga, Phuket, Ranong, and Surat Thani. This world-scale event is expected to help distribute foreign visitors’ spending to other parts of the country as well.
3. Country image – The Specialised Expo will enhance Thailand’s reputation as the Medical Hub of Southeast and South Asia and promote medical tourism in different areas across the country with the ultimate goal of Thailand becoming an international hub for medical tourism.
4. Management and area development – Buildings and structures constructed for the Expo will be repurposed into a Comprehensive International Medical and Public Health Service Centre, International Geriatric Centre, Jairak Centre (Palliative Care), and Comprehensive Rehabilitation Centre. These developments will contribute to the advances in medicine, health, and well-being and will be supervised by the Vachira Phuket Hospital. An international convention centre and ecological park will also be developed on the site.
During the meeting, Mr. Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, President of Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (Public Organization) or TCEB, presented the progress on Thailand’s candidature for the Expo 2028 Phuket Thailand to the executives from leading business associations and organisations representing these industries: energy, banking, hospital, hotel, airlines, retail, and beverage. The meeting was also attended by representatives of the Board of trade of Thailand and the Thai Bankers’ Association, a sign of showing support for Thailand’s bid. Mr. Chiruit stated that TCEB, along with Team Thailand, comprising the Ministry of Public Health, Phuket Province, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, and the Tourism Authority of Thailand, are actively promoting Thailand’s bid to host Expo 2028 Phuket Thailand both domestically and internationally. The campaign’s next important event is the “Expo 2028 Phuket Thailand Symposia,” where BIE committees and representatives from member states will be invited to attend. To be held on 22 February 2023, in Paris, France, the symposia will showcase the main theme, the country’s stance, the potential and readiness of Phuket and Thailand to hold the expo under the theme “Future of Life: Living in Harmony, Sharing Prosperity,”. The idea is to make the Specialised Expo in Phuket a global platform for participating countries to exhibit their policies and innovations promoting mutual sustainability in the realms of environmental, social, and governance practices that align with the Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) framework.
The support of the Thai private sector is now manifested. The Thai Chamber of Commerce has recently held a meeting with the provincial chambers of commerce, trade associations, and members of the Young Entrepreneur Chamber of Commerce (YEC) from across the country to discuss the private sector’s readiness and ways to show support. Leading corporations are, meanwhile, providing support for public relations initiatives. The Siam Piwat Group, for example, supplies media platform at ICONSIAM and Siam Paragon for publicity purposes. KASIKORNBANK (KBank) promotes the campaign on the screens of its ATMs across the country, while SCG supports the production and dissemination of public relations materials.
Thailand has met the readiness criteria according to the assessment of the BIE and is now in the process of voting campaigning along with the other four candidate countries: the United States, Serbia, Spain, and Argentina. The BIE committee will select and announce the host country in June this year. If Thailand is granted the right to be the host, it will be the first world-scale expo ever held in Southeast Asia and South Asia.