Thailand Ambassador Visit Demonstrates Global Opportunities

Posted by Paul Cherpeau

Chief Executive

Fri 29th, Sep

This week the Chamber welcomed Thailand’s Ambassador to the UK and his entourage for a meeting with colleagues from Warrant Group, Santander and Colloids, along with representatives of the Department for International Trade and Liverpool Vision.

The meeting with the Ambassador enabled a fantastic exchange of ideas and opportunities for both inward and outbound trade opportunities and demonstrated once again that global opportunities exist for Liverpool city region companies in multiple professions and sectors.

Such opportunities discussed ranged from the expertise sought by Thailand in key infrastructure construction to the merits of a Thai mango (seriously!).

Thailand is the second largest member of The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, established in Bangkok on 8 August 1967. It is highly connected with Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and other countries such as Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Brunei and Myanmar. Dialogue with the EU has already started to progress trade procedures and the Ambassador highlighted that the links between the UK and Thailand were so strong that Brexit shouldn’t impact these or any future relationship.

 We learnt about Thailand looking to accelerate economic growth and social progress and due to growing tourism and a developing hotel and catering sector there are opportunities for UK companies in:

  • innovative technology and products
  • organic and healthy food products
  • premium made in UK food and drink products
  • food packaging and processing equipment

Thailand plans to invest massively in the near future in strategic infrastructure projects, including:

  • upgrading national rail network with double tracking and expansion of the Bangkok mass-transit system
  • airport and port expansion projects
  • road and bridge upgrades
  • water management and flood prevention

Therefore there are opportunities for UK companies in the following areas:

  • project management
  • consulting engineering
  • design
  • operation of ports and major infrastructure projects
  • specialist innovative technology

Opportunities for exporting British expertise in education and management are also apparent based on the Ambassador’s observations.

It was heartening to hear the outstanding success stories from Russell Livesey of Colloids; whose growth in the past decade has seen turnover increase four-fold with 80% achieved directly from export sales. Similarly, Warrant Group’s success with plastic scrap recycling in Bangkok exemplifies the potential that fostering such trade links with the UK can achieve.

Discussing the International Business Festival (launched last night in London of course), it is apparent that Liverpool as a business destination has resonance with international traders. The prospect of an international marketplace providing genuine supply chain opportunities to UK businesses is the unique and valuable selling point in next year’s iteration of the festival and one that must be marketed to the hilt and made an unqualified success. Certainly, our Thai delegation were attracted by the proposition.

 After two good festivals, the attainment of tangible business between local and international buyers and suppliers is the next achievable step the festival should take to become great. After this week’s visit, we hope that Thailand representatives and businesses will play a full part in the opportunities presented by next year’s festival, to do business in and with the businesses of Liverpool.

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