Thailand’s Index halts Myanmar projects

Index Creative Village Plc, Thailand’s largest event organiser, has temporarily suspended its Myanmar projects due to stricter licensing requirements by that country’s government.

The move comes amid growing political uncertainty in Myanmar this year that has prompted the government to impose stricter guidelines against people gathering in a bid to prevent potential protests.

Kriengkrai Karnchanapokin, co-founder and co-chief executive, said Index thus decided to suspend its planned events there until the political situation eased.

Index events for Thingyan, Myanmar’s own mid-April New Year water festival, have been skipped this year. The company organised events for the occasion in the previous two years.

Index’s first Thingyan event in 2013 drew 700,000 visitors in Yangon and even more last year.

Other events such as trade shows have also been suspended.

“We’re still confident in the bright future of Myanmar, but change and reform will naturally see some protests,” Mr Kriengkrai said.

Index was the first Thai media and event-organising company to enter Myanmar, debuting in the neighbouring country in 2010 by forming a joint venture, Myanmar Index Creative Village, with local partner Forever Group.

It was in charge of the New Year’s Eve countdown in 2012, Myanmar’s first event of the kind.

Before that, Index managed the Myanmar Motion Picture Academy Awards in 2011 and Union Day celebrations in 2012.

Index started looking at Myanmar when its military government decided to open up the country.
It built a 20,000-square-metre venue in the heart of Yangon’s business district.
Recently, Index has been tapping Myanmar tourism by producing a contemporary show called “Dandaree” in Bagan.

Thai event organisers have begun expanding throughout Asean to reduce domestic risk from political uncertainty.

Source: Bangkok Post

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