Muay Thai could also generate more than 100 billion baht in economic value a year, in terms of a professional sport, a sport for health, and other supporting products.
Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office Kobsak Pootrakul stated that all relevant agencies in the public sector are ready to promote Muay Thai, or Thai-style boxing, as a creative industry and a lucrative business cluster.
Mr. Kobsak spoke about this ancient martial art of the people of Thailand at the seminar "Sustaining the Inheritance of Muay Thai toward the Global Economy.” The seminar was held on 30 June 2018, under a project to support small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) networks.
He explained that Muay Thai is regarded as a cultural product with a unique identity. Its strength could be used to add higher value through creativity, and the products and services of Muay Thai could also be developed as the country’s new exports.
Mr. Kobsak pointed out that the Muay Thai cluster is playing a vital role in Thailand’s creative economy. It could also generate more than 100 billion baht in economic value a year, in terms of a professional sport, a sport for health, and other supporting products.
Moreover, he said, Muay Thai would make Thai culture and traditions better known among foreigners. As a result, more international tourists will visit Thailand and demand for Thai products and services are likely to increase, in line with the concept of creative economy.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in cooperation with the Thailand Foundation, recently organized a "Muay Thai Roadshow” in Chile, Brazil, and Mexico. The roadshow was aimed at fostering Thailand’s international relations, especially at the people-to-people level. It also supported the Government’s policy in bringing Muay Thai to the Olympic Games.
Muay Thai is taught in many countries, which have introduced it as a sport. It is also considered part of the identity of the country in terms of both sport and tourism. Muay Thai is different from Western boxing in the diversity of offensive and defensive blows, thus making the art more taxing and challenging for the boxers. A great number of foreigners are interested in Muay Thai contests, and many of them have also attended Muay Thai training.
The Thai government has established a policy to promote, preserve, and develop this sport. Muay Thai has also been designated as a new Olympic discipline and competitive sport in future Olympic Games.