Supporting industries can boost automotive production
Greater investment in supporting industries will be a crucial factor in strengthening the auto industry to be competitive with other countries ahead of ASEAN economic integration, the Industrial Promotion Department said.
Employees work on an assembly line at the BMW manufacturing plant in Rayong province. Auto production is expected to increase this year, along with increasing domestic and foreign demand. Support industries are told not to worry about increased investment by car makers in neighboring countries, as this will create export opportunities, especially for auto parts makers. PIYACHART MAAIKAEW
“Support industries such as industrial machinery and electronic parts are the backbone of Thailand’s automotive industry,” Managing Director Arthit Wuthikaro said yesterday. “Increasing capacity in these industries would help Thailand increase its competitiveness.”
He said the Industry Development Support Office (BSID) would play a major role. In the short term, it would help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) reduce costs and improve productivity, while incorporating certain technologies to support the automotive industry in the long term.
In cooperation with BSID, the Industrial Promotion Department will focus on the development of human resources, technology and automation of SMEs.
The government will also help SMEs access financial support to help increase productivity and improve machinery.
The government will build testing laboratories to reduce costs during product testing.
The department will organize business matchmaking events to help SMEs find qualified partners to develop their production capacity.
“We plan to seek out at least 500 Japanese companies that are best in their fields to match Thai SMEs,” Mr. Arthit said.
He said auto production will increase this year, along with the increase in domestic and foreign demand.
Support industries should not be worried about increased investment by car makers in neighboring countries, as this will create export opportunities, especially for parts makers, Arthit said.
“Indonesia can benefit from greater economies of scale since its market is larger,” he said.
“However, Thailand has a better reputation for quality, which has grown over the years.”
Major automakers in the United States, Europe and Japan still view Thailand as a country of major interest for their expansion.