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Australian auto firms explore opportunities in Thailand

Australian automotive firms have been showing strong interest in Phase 2 of Thailand's eco-car project.

Late last month, a trade mission from that country's automotive industry visited the Kingdom to explore new opportunities here.

Assisted by the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade), the mission consisted of delegates from eight companies, specialising in original equipment manufacturer (OEM) automotive technologies, components and tooling.

The mission provided the companies, some of which already have operations in Thailand, with first-hand industry insights and an opportunity to present their technologies and capabilities to OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers.

During the three-day programme, the delegates enjoyed a wide range of business activities, including company visits, participation at the Thailand Auto Parts and Accessories (TAPA) show, a networking event, and one-on-one business matchings.

According to Austrade, Thailand has been the most popular offshore destination for Australian investors in the automotive-parts industry.

About 20 Australian automotive-parts manufacturers have established operations in Thailand to supply their growing customer base, including Futuris, MHG, ARB, TriMotive, Harrington Industries and Air International.

The incentives offered by the Board of Investment over the past three decades have contributed to foreign companies' final decisions on investment location.

Phase 2 of the eco-car project is one programme that will provide a range of incentives and investment privileges to attract foreign investment and boost Thailand's automotive production output, Austrade believes.

Ten car manufacturers have applied to participate in this programme, which is estimated to increase Thailand's automotive production to 3 million units by 2019.


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