SBWC Thai Trade Mission Explores Expansion Opportunities
in Fashion, Jewellery and Business Services
- Sharjah Business Women Council members meet with several Thailand-based companies to discuss how they can take their businesses to Thailand
- Business networking event, ‘Women Leading the Future of Business’ in Bangkok opens trade mission
Sharjah, 03 September, 2019:Sharjah Business Women Council (SBWC), an affiliate of the NAMA Women Advancement Establishment (NAMA), has recently concluded a trade mission to Bangkok, Thailand, during which five business women from its membership have met several Thailand-based corporations to gauge Thai business potential in fashion, jewellery and business services sectors.
The five-day trade mission, aligns with SBWC’s efforts aimed at supporting UAE-based business women and entrepreneurs to explore potential opportunities in international markets. The visit offered these women a platform to network with Thai and foreign business owners, investors and trading partners in their respective fields.
Headed by Sheikha Hind bint Majid Al Qassimi, Chairperson of SBWC; the trade mission delegates comprised HE Reem BinKaram, Director of NAMA; HE Erum Mazher Alvie, Senior Advisor in the Executive Office of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi; Mariam bin Al Shaikh, Membership and Services Manager, SBWC; and a host of SBWC representatives.
Emerging economies expand investor avenues
Sheikha Hind bint Majid Al Qassimi noted that the trade mission taps into opportunities created by global economic trends moving favourably towards emerging markets, given its remarkable growth rates in both traditional and newly forming sectors of services and trade. The Thai market is steadily growing in importance among foreign investments in sectors like fashion.
Sheikha Hind Bint Majid Al Qassimi pointed out that these factors motivated SBWC to look for new business opportunities in Thailand. She discussed the government’s incentives aimed at attracting foreign investors to Thailand, including the advantages offered by the Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) and other public entities, namely the reduction or exemption (in some cases) of cost, easy business registration process, expert business support services, and more.
Al Qassimi linked these Thai incentives to those offered by Sharjah’s policies that are. designed to encourage more foreign investments, as well as facilitate the establishment of start-ups in the Emirate. These, she said, will facilitate the trade exchanges between the two markets as well as between Thai businesses and SBWC’s business women.
‘Women Leading the Future of Business’ networking event
On the first day of the trade mission, SBWC organised a business networking event that aimed to discuss the growing importance of the roles of businesswomen and female entrepreneurs in the global economy, and offered SBWC members a platform to engage and network with their Thai counterparts. The five SBWC members discussed possible cooperation in the three focus sectors of the trade mission.
The networking event convened around 50 Thai businesswomen and top officials, along with a host of SBWC members, including Mariam Al Hammadi, Founder of Maroon Design; Wafa Balaswad, founder of Wafa Balaswad boutique fashion house; Badria Salim, Founder of Abdar Jewellery; Rayan Al Hosani, Founder of Zodiac Jewellery; and Shobhna Thapa, Managing Director of Smart Zones UAE.
A unique opportunity to continue women’s economic empowerment
Sheikha Hind Bint Majid Al Qassimi, remarked: “Southeast Asia is one of the world’s fastest-growing markets, and continues to exhibit immense growth potential. The new and emerging sectors in Thailand, for example, have presented us a unique opportunity to continue UAE-based business women’s economic empowerment beyond our geographic borders. Their vastly diversified economies exhibiting potential for continued growth in both traditional and non-traditional fields enable women to successfully establish their enterprises and contribute to economic development while boosting gender diversity across business sectors. In Thailand’s case, the Global Entrepreneurship Index (GEI) 2018–19 report clearly reveals the advanced level of gender equality the nation has achieved.”
Sheikha Hind Bint Majid Al Qassimi emphasised the importance of strengthening relations with Thailand, a member state of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). “Needless to say that together ASEAN and other Southeast Asian countries form an economic powerhouse, with innumerable opportunities for women to benefit from. SBWC aims to support its members capitalise on promising investment opportunities in the region, especially in the SME sector. Real productivity improvement and economic growth depends on how effectively we can activate women’s roles as employees or business owners. It is an imperative if expert estimations about ASEAN’s economy moving up from the seventh to the fourth rank globally in the next few years.” she added.