According to a recent report, The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is continuing its initiatives to strengthen the economic relations between Thailand and Hong Kong with the founding of InnoSpace Thailand, Thai Access to International Markets Competition, and SME Idol – incubating projects for SMEs that profit from The Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) Development Plan.
This is the expansion of Hong Kong’s multi-lifestyle product brand to Thailand.
The establishment of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (HKETO) in February 2019 marked an important milestone between Thailand and Hong Kong economic relations.
Based on remarks by the Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand, the office has opened a wide array of opportunities.
In 2018, a total of 44 projects worth 20.3 billion baht originated from Hong Kong investors, up from 41 projects worth 7.15 billion baht in 2017.
Working in conjunction with HKETO, Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is working to promote two-way trade between the two regions which benefited numerous Thai and Hong Kong companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
HKTDC’s Director of Thailand and South Asia stated that since the establishment of the regional headquarters in Bangkok, HKTDC has brought more than 8,000 Thai businesspeople to Hong Kong every year.
Apart from various activities facilitated by HKTDC, such as international exhibitions, conferences, business missions, and research database, collaborative projects are key to sustainable growth for Thai SMEs as listed below:
InnoSpace Thailand: a 500-million-baht public-private venture. In collaboration with the Hong Kong Cyberport, both sides utilise strategic access to ASEAN market in Thailand, venture capital network in Hong Kong, talents and experiences of Hong Kong Cyberport project to groom start-ups from both regions. The project is located in the Eastern Economic Corridor of Innovation (EECi) in Rayong Province.
Thai Access to International Markets: Active since 2014, the joint project with Thailand’s Office of SMEs Promotion provides Thai designers with an O2O platform to sell their products to over 50,000 international buyers. Short-listed designers, having won votes, can sell their products, share experiences, and ultimately win an air ticket to DesignInspire in Hong Kong to interact with top designers from around the world.
SME Idol: Being held for the 2nd consecutive year, the project is a collaboration with Thailand’s Office of SMEs Promotion, SME Development Bank, and Community Development Department. It aims to coach SMEs on e-commerce, international sales contract, logistics, negotiation and sales in the China market as well as trade fair preparation. Target businesses are home decor, spa, scented and household products.
Thailand – the tourism hub
Eyeing Thailand as a tourism hub and a potential market for mass products, HKTDC worked with HKAD to launch a multi-lifestyle product brand with 100 per cent Hong Kong design in Thailand in 2016.
The project promotes Hong Kong design products, opening up distribution channels for Hong Kong products in Thailand and the region.
The agency achieved 1,000 per cent sales growth within three years since its opening. Its product range began with gifts and mid-priced goods before expanding to newer and more innovative products such as watches and action figures.
The key drivers for Thai consumers’ decisions were found; they are design and quality, with prices a lower priority. HKAD complements Thai retailers by offering value-added services such as product display, marketing, and events which resulted in significant sales growth in Thailand.
Going forward, it is hoped that a vibrant start-up ecosystem can be built through the InnoSpace Thailand platform as well as bringing smart manufacturing to Thailand to be in line with the Thailand 4.0 aspiration.
HKTDC hopes to serve more Thai companies in the future.