Since the world discovered Brainport Eindhoven, delegations from all over the world have been coming and going. Not only do they want to get to know ‘the secret’, but they also try to persuade talents, entrepreneurs and investors to exercise their skills elsewhere. Today it was the turn of a delegation from Bangkok: the Thai Board of Investment (BOI) tried to form an image of Eindhoven with a lightning visit to Strijp-T, Strijp-S and Brainport Industries Campus. We had a look over their shoulders.
Delegation leader Pannee Chengsuttha is not secretive about the objectives: “Eindhoven is our target, we want to convince the smart people who live here to settle in Thailand. Because Thailand is much more than a beautiful tourist destination, it is a top country in many high-tech areas.” Chengsuttha mentions a number of them, almost at random: “Medtech, AI, robotics, these are areas that you also know well here. Thailand is an emerging market for that; it’s seen all over Asia.” And should anyone still have doubts, the Thai visitors have brought some piles of multicoloured leaflets and descriptions with them. For each subarea a separate booklet, all equally shiny.
The delegation calls for extra attention to 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 they are searching for foreign entrepreneurs. Chengsuttha assures us that the government is also making a considerable investment in this area. The already low taxes will be halved for more than ten years, there are ‘smart visas’ and the whole family is welcome to come along. “In other words: if you come to us, you won’t be alone. We will guide you from the first day you come to us. What are you still waiting for?”