Isan, Thailand Holds its First Sustainable Innovation Expo

Isan BCG Expo 2022.

Isan BCG Expo 2022, Isan’s largest sustainable innovation expo, was held in early December 2022.

The expo was a joint cooperation between Khon Kaen Innovation Centre (KKIC), Mitr Phol Group, and 50 alliance networks, including public and private sectors, in a bid to transform the region into an economic hub highlighting its “Creativity, Further Development, and Sustainability.”

The project strived to empower local Isan wisdom and culture by harnessing technology, creating opportunities, and strengthening cooperation on academics and business between the public and private sectors, including investors, entrepreneurs, and start-up entrepreneurs in Thailand and other countries in the CLMVT group.

The primary goal was to achieve tangible results and accelerate sustainable business development based on the BCG business model.

Dr. Pichet Durongkaveroj, Director, Mitr Phol Group( second middle) and Mr. Gavin Vongkusolkit, Director, Khon Kaen Innovation Center (KKIC) participated in Isan BCG Expo and Isan BCC Forum 2022.

“Under the theme ‘Collaboration: Live Together, Grow Together’ Isan BCG Expo 2022 is a starting point for steering the development of the Northeast region from now until 2030,” said Dr. Pichet Durongkaveroj, Director, Mitr Phol Group.

“As widely acknowledged, Isan has limited natural resources and its own specific features. The region has one-third of the nation’s population, nearly half of whom, are working in the labor market, and 60% are in agricultural sectors, with the growth rate of GDP at THB 1.8 billion, constituting 10% of the country’s GDP which will increase to 20%. Thus the area-based development via BCG Model becomes a major goal of wealth distribution within the region, especially CLMV where are the key to the driving force of macro-level business development in Isan and Thailand due to its potential in the agricultural, industrial and service sectors and its strategic location armed with labor force and border trade.” he noted.

Isan region is considered as  the ‘Multimodal Transport and Logistic Hub’ with international bridges connecting to Laos, 9 airports in 20 provinces, and two major railway lines, including the Thai-Chinese high-speed train, which will run through Khon Kaen.

The project would have a crucial role in bolstering national and international goods transport and mass transit systems.

With the aim of sustainability the project created value for the region and carried out in accordance with BCG’s following strategies: from the bioeconomy system, which employs bioresources to create added value for a circular economy. It also employs a circular economy to preserve the value of natural resources based on the reducing and reusing principle.

The green economy helps balance the economy, society, and environment with a deeper concept of preserving, restoring, and maximizing the usage of bioresources. Other focuses are on creating added value and promoting self-reliance.

The project places an emphasis on cross-border trade and special economic zones, as it plays a role in promoting the province as the Northeastern Economic Corridor (NeEC-Bioeconomy).

As well as, activities of the steering team that include benefit allocation, production and service chain development, research and development, knowledge and technology transfer, infrastructure development, and workforce development, including entrepreneur support services.

The last strategy is to bring together all of the above-mentioned ideas to build the BCG hub of the Northeast. To enable the existence of ISAN 2030, all components are required to move together.

In addition, Mr. Gavin Vongkusolkit, Director, Khon Kaen Innovation Center (KKIC), one of the KKIC committee members, said that “The project ‘Collaboration: Living Together, Growing Together’ was organized for the first time this year. It was intended to create inspiration for people in society by applying the BCG Economy Model as the foundation for building communities, creating strategies and infrastructures, and igniting innovation.

Khon Kaen is the city with the most potential in several areas, including cultural richness, a balance of biodiversity, and investment opportunities. The province has been accredited as a MICE and Smart City, which is capable of linking one-third of the country’s population with neighboring countries. Its location is, therefore, conducive to effectively creating social and economic changes.”

“Isan BCG Expo 2022 and the Isan BCG Forum 2022 are significant milestones for boosting the economy in Khon Kaen sustainably. Both projects were organized in an effort to create an arena for Thailand and its neighbors in the CLMVT countries to have fruitful and impactful discussions. Regarding the Isan BCG Expo 2022, its primary aim is to connect participants based on their knowledge and thoughts while the Isan BCG Forum places the focus on the discussions made by the leaders of concerned parties in order to tackle future challenges,” he noted.

Mr. Gavin said that these events ignite business ideas, and open up new opportunities for a wide range of businesses both inside and outside of Thailand. All in all, the main objective of the two projects was to bolster economic growth and sustainability in Khon Kaen and the region, as well as prepare the country for being an economic hub in 2030.