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Thai event business helps Myanmar kick off SEA Games

THE EVENT Management Association believes that the 27th Southeast Asian Games will help Myanmar improve its national image and boost the confidence of international firms, including event businesses from Thailand.

"After having not held the SEA Games for 44 years, Myanmar aims to use this sports event to shine its light to the world in terms of its compe?tency and readiness to hold a regional event that will also instil more confidence in international businesses," Sermkhun Kunawong, chair?man of the EMA, told The Nation yesterday.

Myanmar opened the SEA Games yesterday at its new capital Nay Pyi Taw, welcoming hundreds of athletes from 11 countries in Southeast Asia. The event is held every other year, and this one closes on December 22.

Sermkhun said Myanmar offered huge opportunities for internation?al companies, including those in Thailand. Although its event industry is still at a early stage of development, demand from major companies wanting to jump into this neighbouring country is still strong.

Compared with Laos and Cambodia, Myanmar's customer base is larger - about 60 million people. Its natural resources are also in greater abundance, such as petroleum, natural gas and metals.

Sermkhun, who is also chief executive officer of CMO, said his com?pany had been assigned by Thai Samsung Electronics to conduct the "27th Myanmar SEA Games Lucky Cards Campaign" to promote participation among Myanmar people from August 23-November 30. On each card are the details of the SEA Games and a serial number. The winning numbers will be published. The prizes are worth more than 200 million kyat (Bt6.5 million).

The company had seen potential in the Myanmar market, as its economy and purchasing power are growing, and its population is close to Thailand's, so it decided to do business there. It aims for revenue of Bt100 million from its activities in Myanmar. "Our focus is on coming projects to be held in Myanmar both from local Thai companies and multinational companies in Thailand," Sermkhun said.

CMO is widely known among the local and Thai companies in Myanmar. Its staging of the SEA Games contest will give it greater exposure, leading to more work, he said. "The Myanmar government and the press there have started to know more about CMO as a holistic communication and event company from Thailand."

This year, the company will expand to neighbouring countries. CMO has organised many important events such as the maiden Bangkok-Mandalay flight of Thai Smile Airways, the launch of Coca-Cola in Laos, and a Kubota press conference in Myanmar.

The company targets revenue of Bt1.2 billion this year.


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