Pannee Chengsuttha, foto © IO

Since the world has discovered Brainport Eindhoven, there has been a constant influx of delegations from all over the world. Not only do they want to get to know ‘the secret’, but they also want to persuade local talents, entrepreneurs and investors to try their skills elsewhere. Today it was all about Thailand: The Thai Board of Investment (BOI) tried to get a better view of Eindhoven by visiting Strijp-T, Strijp-S and Brainport Industries Campus. We joined them during their speed date sessions.

Delegation leader Pannee Chengsuttha is not secretive about her objectives: “Eindhoven is our target, we want to convince the smart people who live here to settle and invest in Thailand. Because Thailand is much more than a beautiful tourist destination, it is a top country in many high-tech areas.” Chengsuttha lists a number of them: “Medical technology, AI, robotics, these are the areas that you also know well here. Thailand is really an emerging market, which is recognised in all of Asia.” And to convince everyone about this, the Thai visitors have brought a few piles of multicoloured leaflets and booklets. A separate one for each area, all equally shiny.

The delegation asks for extra attention for the “Eastern Economic Corridor”, an area in Thailand in which some forty billion euros will be invested over the next twenty years. It is precisely for this area, which comprises three provinces, that foreign entrepreneurs are being sought. And here too, Chengsuttha assures us, the government is making a big effort. The already low taxes are halved for more than ten years, there are ‘smart visas’ and the whole family is welcome to come along. “You could say: when you come to us, you’re not alone. We will accompany you from the first day you have arrived here. What are you waiting for?”

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    Author profile picture Bart Brouwers is co-founder and co-owner of Media52 BV, the publisher of innovationorigins.com.