Lifestyle trade show combines big 3 into 1

A woman displays a colour-changing umbrella, one of a number of products to be featured at Style, an event featuring lifestyle products that will take place at Bitec next month. photos by KITJA APICHONROJAREK

Thailand will hold the Style trade show next month to exhibit lifestyle items, expecting sales at the event to help the country’s 2017 exports reach their target of 7% growth to US$230.5 billion (7.66 trillion baht), says the Commerce Ministry’s Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP).

The ministry’s inspector-general, Chantira Jimreivat, who is due to take the position of director-general of the DITP next month, said the event will be held Oct 17-21 at Bitec Bangna.

“It is the first year we put three major trade shows, exhibiting furniture, gifts and fashion, together as a single event to showcase all lifestyle items,” Ms Chantira said.

Previously the DITP held three major events: the Bangkok International Fashion Fair and Bangkok International Leather Fair; the Bangkok International Gift Fair and Bangkok International Houseware Fair; and the Thailand International Furniture Fair.

Ms Chantira said the government decided to join the three events in the last quarter of the year to capitalise on rising demand for lifestyle goods, as global demand normally increases substantially in the period ahead of the Christmas and New Year celebrations.

“This presents a great opportunity for us to promote lifestyle goods at the right time, which should help us reach the Commerce Ministry’s goal of export growth of 7%,” Ms Chantira said.

Somdet Susomboon, deputy director-general of the DITP, said exports of lifestyle goods have risen by 3-5% a year, reaching $9.5 billion in 2016.

“This year we expect lifestyle goods exports to grow by 3% from 2016 in value,” Mr Somdet said. Lifestyle goods comprised 5% of total exports last year.

In the first seven months of this year, lifestyle goods exports totalled $5.3 billion. The event is expected to help increase export growth for the sector to 3% for the year.

Mr Somdet said Style promotes the local economy, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as well as the One Tambon One Product scheme. Most of the vendors at the event will be SMEs.

Mr Somdet said the Commerce Ministry is promoting Style as the region’s largest and most comprehensive lifestyle trade show.

The event will take up 40,000 square metres of space at Bitec Bangna, supported by 24 related associations with more than 1,000 local and international exhibitors showing their products at 2,000 booths.

Mr Somdet said the event is expected to generate about 2 billion baht in trade value.

Chantira Jimreivat (right), the incoming director-general of the International Trade Promotion Department, and deputy director-general Somdet Susomboon helped to organise the Style event.