Out of the comfort zone
AEC will force Thai companies to move abroad, but even that won’t be enough unless they also add value.
Over the last year or so, more Thai companies have started to make their move in regional markets, but despite saturation coverage in the media
about regional integration, Thailand remains a relative newcomer in this field.
“By investing in the markets to which you export, you would get a better understanding of the market and be closer to them, but then Thailand is still a new kid in this area,” said Kosit Panpiemras, the chairman of the executive board of Bangkok Bank.
Moving into foreign markets is not easy but with every other country now looking beyond its borders, he said, Thai companies had no option but to take the same steps to secure market share before rivals from outside Thailand establish their presence and gain market acceptance.
Some domestic players are very strong in their segments and these markets may be difficult to penetrate as a result, but perseverance by the Thai corporate sector would be the key factor to help them achieve their goals, said Mr Kosit, who was the keynote speaker at a seminar titled “Connecting the Thai economy into Asean”.
“We have our strengths in areas such as automotive parts, electronics, hospitality, and the textile sector, and all this could be positive for Thai companies,” he said.
The formation of the single market under the Asean Economic Community in 2015 will be the game-changer, and businesses have to be ready to face up to the challenges of the new regional order or else they will lose out, Mr Kosit warned.
His comments echoed those made by Surin Pitsuwan, the secretary-general of the Association of South East Asian Nations a day earlier. Not only …
Full story from Bangkok Post at http://goo.gl/qkACf
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