The Board of Investment of Thailand (BOI) is promoting next month's "Subcon Thailand 2014", Asean's biggest subcontracting exhibition, which is expected to generate sales of more than Bt6 billion.
Narucha Ruchuphan, director of the BOI’s Business Unit for Industrial Linkage Development (BUILD), said Subcon aimed to strengthen Thailand’s manufacturing sector and the leadership status of the countries supporting industries in the region. Metal, plastic and rubber parts from Thailand are well recognised across Southeast Asia.
He said Thailand’s supporting industries were set to grow even further thanks to several factors. First, wages have risen to a point where enterprises are starting to look seriously for automated manufacturing technologies. Second, manufacturers are increasingly looking to integrate environment-friendly machines into their factories.
Also, the local sourcing of parts has lowered costs for manufacturers in Thailand. Many giant carmakers have therefore continued to place much confidence in Thailand and intended to keep using the country as their manufacturing hub. At their facilities, between 95 and 98 per cent of materials used are made in Thailand.
The manufacturers of electrical appliances such as air-conditioners, refrigerators, microwave ovens, composite materials and others also need industrial parts for their operation. Buoyed by such factors, demand for parts has risen and promised a bright prospect for supporting industries.
At the upcoming Subcon Thailand, the BOI will present new interesting industries, including those that provide parts for aerospace and medical-device manufacturers. These new industries are going to shine brightly in the near future as they offer high returns, Narucha said. Such trends reflect that parts manufacturers in Thailand will be able to grow and prosper further.
He added that Japan would supply a number of exhibitors to Subcon. Key industrial prefectures – Kanagawa, Osaka, Shimane and Yamanashi – Kyushu Economy International, and the Organisation for Small and Medium Enterprises and Regional Innovation will all have representatives there.
The BOI expects Subcon Thailand to generate benefits for and boost the strengths of Thai manufacturing subcontractors. The event will prepare subcontractors for opportunities from emerging industries, something that will allow them to diversify, expand businesses and reduce risks.
Highlights at Subcon will be the new horizons related to the aerospace and medical-device industries. BUILD has invited experts from various countries, including Japan, to give an overview of these markets, their demand for industrial parts, and useful advice on how Thai manufacturers can tap in.
Many Japanese firms will join this subcontracting exhibition to showcase their products and share their new knowledge with visitors too. In fact, they have manufactured industrial parts for machinery, automobiles and medical devices themselves. But they have decided to join as exhibitors because they want to assess the market’s standards and their strengths as opposed to other players.
BOI and exhibition organiser UBM have cooperated on Subcon Thailand for the eighth time. In the upcoming event, seven supporting industries associations from five countries will join in via their "Asean Industrial Supporting Pavilion", marking their continued joint contributions since last year.
The pavilion will feature leading industrial-parts manufacturers and consultancy services related to manufacturing. Myanmar, for example, has expressed keen interest in Thailand’s food and motorcycle manufacturing industries.
During the past few years, Thailand has won cooperation from various agencies in the Asean region in organising the Subcon event. Myanmar’s decision to join this year is a really good sign, Narucha said. Its participation reflects that the subcontracting event has enjoyed very warm response. This also means great opportunities for Thailand’s supporting industries. Via Subcon Thailand 2014, they can explore new markets and find new business partners, he said. Subcon Thailand has been growing throughout the past seven years both in terms of business-matching results and the number of visitors. Last year, it generated cash flow of more than Bt6.8 billion and matched 3,500 pairs of business partners. More transactions followed later on.
Subcon Thailand 2014 will take place at the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre (Bitec) in Bang Na from May 15-17.