Thailand Entertainment Expo set for September

Trade show in Bangkok precedes the city's film festival

LOCARNO, Switzerland -- The second edition of the Thailand Entertainment Expo will take place in September,  it was announced Friday.

The event will take place at the Paragon complex in downtown Bangkok as a trade-only show from Sept. 16-18. Doors will then be thrown open to the public on Sept. 19-20.

The dates precede by nearly a week the latest running of the Bangkok International Film Festival, which is scheduled for  Sept. 24-30.

Organized by the Department of Export Promotion, the Expo is intended to promote Thailand as an entertainment business hub in Southeast Asia and stimulate foreign investment in film, TV content, animation and related services. It will offer a trade exhibition and host a series of one-on-one meetings between global buyers and operators of shooting locations, recording studios and other facilities.

The Expo's other backers include Thai Entertainment Industry Association, Thai Film Industry Association, Thai Film Director Association, and Thailand Cable TV Assn.

The Department of Export Promotion said that last year's inaugural Expo, launched at a time of high political drama, nevertheless attracted 16,800 local and international visitors and generated trade investment of $79 million. It points to the country's vertically integrated chain of facilities and its lower labor costs compared with neighbors Singapore and Hong Kong.

The BKKIFF is bankrolled by a separate ministry -- the Tourism Authority of Thailand -- and is organized by the Federation of National Film Associations of Thailand.