THE simple charm of glass jewellery from Thailand captivated many weekend shoppers at the “Thailand Week 2013” recently.
The colourful and creative designs made for export, were one of the many highlights and the most popular items on sale during the fair.
“Our glass bead jewellery pieces, are modern, unique and exclusively made for our customers. No two designs are alike. These items are very much in demand back in Thailand because of the designs, especially the earring, pendants and rings. We hope to get a distributor here so that more women in Malaysia can wear this beautiful pieces of jewellery,” said Amnaj Sthapornstiksuk of Thai Vetro Glass Jewellery.
Other attractions on display were the aromatherapy candles from Babyboom Candles Co Ltd.
According to Babyboom Candles sales manager, Pinar Dirim Gurdal, the colourful candles are not flavour scented, but give off a very relaxing effect.
“The fun colours and unique sugar-coated appearance certainly make heads turn. These aromatherapy scented candles are long lasting because we only use top quality ingredients like food grade wax, natural aromatherapy scents, baby oil, lead free pure cotton wicks and candle colour. No preservatives and additives. That’s why we have so many satisfied customers,” said Pinar who hails from Turkey.
Babyboom Candles, which started in 2005, is now one of Thailand’s most popular candle producers.
Thai Vetro and Babyboom Candles were just two of 60 Thai businesses that exhibited their products and showed a glimpse of “Amazing Thailand”.
Last year’s “Thailand Week” attracted more than 50,000 visitors with total sales of RM1mil generated.
This year, the event organised by the Department of International Trade Promotion under the Thai Ministry of Commerce generated RM1.5 mil in sales.
The fair also served as a platform for Thai and Malaysian entrepreneurs to interact, transact, and forge business ties.
Thailand Week 2013, aimed at enhancing bilateral trade, was held at the Mid Valley Exhibition Centre from Sept 27 to 29.
The annual fair, formerly known as Thailand Trade Fair, has been held over the past five years.
Selling Thai products here is good business for companies like PK Agro-Industrial Products (M) Sdn Bhd and Calton Distributor Sdn Bhd, which have established partnerships with Thailand spanning many years. The companies took part in the recent exhibition to lend their support.
“We have forged a successful joint venture with the Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group founded in Thailand in 1972. Our brand, CP is the first poultry processing company in South-East Asia and Malaysia, to be awarded the ISO 22000:2005 certification in Food Satefy Management.
“Our range of frozen and chilled products is marketed under the ‘5 Star’, ‘CP’, ‘Champ’ and ‘Ayam Pertiwi’ brands. We currently have three plants in Senawang, Negri Sembilan,” said Lucas Lee, the general manager of PK Agro-Industrial Products.
Beyond pure business, culture was also on show at the event. The intricacies of making Khon headgear was one of the more interesting things on view at the event. The organisers have invited a master painter, identified only as Mrs Prommin, to demonstrate the intricate and skilled art of painting the Khon headgear and mask to visitors at the fair. This is a skilled art form from centuries ago and is still practised today.
The craftsman showed visitors how patience is vital in crafting the Khon headgear.
The finished product is used by traditional Thai dancers and performers of the Ramayana epic.
“Khon headgear is a unique cultural piece. It is a very elaborate headgear, which is uniquely painted by only master painters. Amateurs will not be able to do this because you need skilled hands to put the beads together,” said Prommin who takes two days to complete a Khon piece.
According to Vichada Pabunjerkit, Director of the Thailand Week 2013, Malaysia remains the most exciting spot for Thai entrepreneurs “because there are boundless opportunities for Thai and Malaysian businesses to explore, particularly in the growing halal products and automotive industries.”
A significant Muslim population in Thailand is an added push for Thailand to seek cooperation in the halal sector.
In fact, in terms of trade in halal products and services, Malaysia has emerged as Thailand’s major export destination while Malaysian halal products to Thailand seen an increase from US$286mil (RM872mil) in 2010 to US$562.4mil in 2011.
The three-day fair was considered a huge success as shoppers had a field day feasting their eyes and sourcing quality products from Thailand.
Among the many attractions were Thai cultural performances, cooking demos, Khon mask painting, free traditional Thai massage and cultural games.
While the Thai exhibitors showcased the latest food and beverage products, health and beauty, jewellery, garments, fashion accessories, textiles, decorative items, kitchenware, educational toys, beauty products, handicrafts and many more.
The Thais and Malaysians, said Vichada, share one thing in common, that is the love for shopping.
“We brought Amazing Thailand to Kuala Lumpur and Im glad to see the overwhelming response. Malaysians are so excited to see so many Thai products being showcased at the fair,” said Vichada, who is also the Minister Counsellor in Office of Commercial Affairs in her opening speech at the launch of Thailand Week 2013,
Bilateral trade between both nations have been on a healthy upward trend with RM24bil valued in 2012 and RM10.16bil generated in the first five months of this year. Currently, Thailand is Malaysia’s second biggest trading partner in Asean while Malaysia is Thailand’s fifth largest trading partner in the region.
Vichada is optimistic of achieving double-digit growth in bilateral trade in view of the recent Thailand fare and encourages more trading opportunities and establishes partnerships.
Last years Business Matching Programme generated over 50 new business partnerships between Malaysian and Thai entrepreneurs. From the looks of it, the recent fair made its mark and would probably attract more partnerships.
Other Thai exhibitors who took part include European Food Public Co Ltd, Natural Homemade Co Ltd, Pahlawan Marketing Sdn Bhd, Tae-Pee Group Sdn Bhd, Sri Putri, Tom Yam Thai Club, Bangkok Rubber Public Co Ltd, Siam Lamps Co Ltd, F&R Jewelery Co Ltd, Jongwi Intertrade Ltd Part, Global Debon Ventures, JK Factory Co Ltd, NaTra (Thailand) Co Ltd and Anuroj Handpaint Ltd.