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Cooperation urged to make Thailand a hub for seniors market in Asean

Jun 21. 2017
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By KWANCHAI RUNGFAPAISARN
THE NATION

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TO HELP set the government’s “Thailand 4.0” economic model in motion, the public and private sectors should work hand in hand to position the country as a hub of Asean’s growing seniors market, said Butsaya Prakorbthong, general manager of NCC Exhibition Organiser Co.

 “The major capability of Thailand is services, which have been accepted as world-class. And since Thailand has several beautiful attractions that are the dream destinations of many retirees, its seniors market tends to grow increasingly,” she said. 

“So the public sector should promote and standardise services to be more efficient and encourage the holding of trade fairs and exhibitions as venues for business negotiations to improve Thailand as the hub of Asean’s seniors market.” 

Since the government issued the policy to upgrade the nation to “Thailand 4.0”, many government agencies have followed up with policies and measures to support technological and innovative development, which it is hoped will enhance the competitiveness of the economy.

Although the medical and health industry is classified as a new target, Thailand has long been delivering medical services and now is trusted by foreigners who come to stay in hospitals and health centres for rehabilitation. 

This tendency seems to be increasing every year. The government since the end of last year has shown clear signs of encouraging this trend through the policy of promoting a complete medical industry.

The policy was launched by the Board of Investment to incentivise both the Thai and foreign private sectors to invest in or provide medical services in all fields.

With the explosive growth of the senior market, the competition in this market is also higher. 

Entrepreneurs should develop their products and services to respond to the demands of seniors by studying their requirements and developing products, such as personal utensils, drinking water, toothpaste, soap and shoes, to meet their needs, Butsaya said.

Thailand is an ageing society, as it is forecast that in six years seniors will make up 25 per cent of the population, up from 10 per cent of 66 million people today.

“The effect of this change will not only be to increase some welfare and benefits or extend the retirement age from 60 years to 65, but relevant businesses should also be developed,” she said. 

NCC Exhibition Organiser is entering the senior-services market by hosting “InterCare Asia”, aimed at attracting local and foreign manufacturers and distributors of innovative products.

The trade fair expects to welcome at least 5,000 participants and provide for the circulation of at least Bt600 million over its three-day run from July 6-8 at the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre (Bitec) in Bang Na district.

This trade fair will display devices, utensils and other products related to seniors as well as some technology products and services to respond to the demands of this segment. 

The exhibition space will be divided into five zones. 

The home-care zone will showcase devices and tools for giving care to seniors and disabled persons, such as wheelchairs and wristbands. 

The rehabilitation zone will display devices and tools for supporting and protecting seniors, such as robotic assistants, orthopaedic centres and hearing aids.

The medical tourism and related services zone will feature spas and fitness and Thai massage facilities. 

The services zone will introduce some products for the care and support of elderly and disabled people such as nursing homes, wheelchair-accessible vehicles and hospitals. 

The nutritional zone will offer both Thai and Chinese herbal products and supplements.

Besides underscoring the Thailand 4.0 stage of development, the trade fair will endorse the five basic industries to be developed along with new innovations – automobiles, electronics, processed food, tourism and biotechnology, Butsaya said.

 

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