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ASEAN GATEWAYWITH A WEALTH OF VENUE SPACE AND CONSTANTLY IMPROVING INFRASTRUCTURE, BANGKOK IS THE EXHIBITION HUB OF ASEAN REGION. MIKE TRUDEAU TAKES A CLOSER LOOKof service is comparatively high, making it a tempting destination for business as well as pleasure."From the perspective of a trade exhibition organiser, Thailand's strength in the various industrial sectors makes the local market attractive to gather local trade buyers as anchor visitors," said Muthiah Gandhi, managing director of UBM Asia (ASEAN Business). "Thailand is also a uniquely attractive place to invite trade buyers from the region. Its hospitality and service standards are second to none, and there are a range of excellent purpose-built venues available. Providing smooth and uninterrupted service to visitors is in the DNA of the city. This is easily translated into the suppliers industry. The excellent hotels, transportation, freight, stand, electrical, and design make it very convenient for show organisers to stage events in Bangkok."In terms of organiser presence, the Government's Department of Export Promotion (DEP) holds a full 44 per cent of exhibition business in Thailand. Reed Exhibitions is the second-most prevalent organiser with 12 per cent of the market, and UBM is in third place with six per cent. Local organiser Bangkok Exhibition Services holds fi ve per cent of the market. According to UBM Asia president and CEO Jimé Essink, the total Thai exhibition market is worth US$149m. The DEP, while helping the local market, poses a challenge to incoming organisers by offering subsidised rates for its own expos.or the most part, when you talk about exhibitions in Thailand you talk about Bangkok, to the extent that the two can be essentially synonymous. Holding all of the country's major venues, a busy international airport and increasingly up-to-date infrastructure, the city is undeniably a buzzing hub of business for not only Thailand but the surrounding international region.Add to this a bid for the World Expo 2020 and Bangkok boldly stands above other destinations in the region.If nothing else - and there is much else - the city is an attractive destination. More than just a tourist hub, it is a city of food and culture, a monument of living history and an embodiment of the burgeoning ASEAN market.As dominant as Bangkok is on the national expo stage, two new venues under construction in Phuket and Chiang Mai will add to the competitive landscape and attempt to draw business out of the capital. For an organiser of international exhibitions, the two up-and-comers will complement the resources available to those bringing business to Bangkok.Thailand has a large and growing domestic market, with strong export-related manufacturing. The capital city has an excellent and improving infrastructure of venues, roads, airports, hotels and contractors, and while prices are still low, the quality