A recent report noted that Thailand is in the process of gradually shifting from a manufacturing to a high-value, hi-tech manufacturing economy.
This was seen after the country has put all its efforts into promoting the use of advanced technology, science, and innovation in parallel with the development of infrastructure and the right business ecosystem to drive economic development with the targeted industries as the main catalysts.
The Thai government has identified targeted industries that will support the national transformation into an advanced economy driven by science, technology, and innovation.
Some of these targeted industries are automation and robotics, aviation and logistics, biofuel and biochemicals, digital technology and medical hub.
Thailand’s Board of Investment (BOI), the government’s arm in facilitating and promoting investments, has supported the country’s economic transformation by continuously improving its promotional incentives to strengthen Thailand’s position as a preferred investment destination and to draw more investments in the targeted industries.
The investments in Thailand’s targeted industries will help enhance national and business competitiveness because a technological disruption has strong impacts on how an economy develops and the way modern businesses operate.
Thanks to the country’s comprehensive investment ecosystem ranging from infrastructure development to attractive promotional measures and continuous government support, Thailand has welcomed new investment worth over 900 billion baht in 2018, 25% higher than expected.
Moreover, the fact that local businesses are taking this opportunity to turn themselves from ordinary local manufacturers into suppliers of high-value advanced-technology products is perhaps even more encouraging.
For example, one BOI-promoted company first started an automotive part production before it decided to adopt advanced technologies and explore new markets. Currently, it is on its way to becoming a fast-growing manufacturer of dental equipment and medical instruments.
Another example is the first Thai aerospace and aviation part supplier. Starting out as a local lathe shop, producing moulds and automotive parts, the company has improved its skills and capabilities to become a producer of semiconductors, hard disk drives and lately aerospace parts.
The company has been continually improving its knowledge, skills and expertise in aerospace and aircraft part manufacturing. It produces and supplies sensing, landing lights, lights, seats, etc.
The CEO of the company noted said that through its transformation from a lathe shop to an aerospace part manufacturer, the company has enjoyed a 400% revenue growth in the past four years and expected to achieve revenues of 725 million baht by 2023.
Considering the trend that the world’s aviation industry is growing quickly with over 41,000 aircraft in demand in the next 20 years, approximately half in the Asia Pacific region, the future of this industry is bright.
It is important for Thailand to continue to support local companies to enhance their capability through advanced technology adoption.
Once these companies upgraded their capability and become advanced manufacturers, you will surely enjoy a strong economy and enhanced national competitiveness.
The first wave of a solid transformation has already been taking shape, with BOI’s promotional incentives serving as a catalyst.
The success of these innovative companies will inspire more businesses to explore investment opportunities and follow in their footsteps. When change comes on a larger scale, an economic transformation will follow, thus enhancing national competitiveness.
This success is also indicative of the progress Thailand is making on its Thailand 4.0 goals. Particularly, the aim of transforming Thailand’s comparative advantage into a competitive advantage through knowledge, technology, and innovation.