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Health and beauty among rising stars next year, says UTCC

With expected recovery of global and domestic economic growth as well as Asean integration, the medical and beauty, telecommunications and television businesses will be the rising stars of 2014, the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce predicts.

A study by the UTCC also found that event organisers, technology equipment, tourism, and rubber gloves including those for medical use would be the new stars next year as the growth of cross-border trade and Asean connectivity facilitates their business expansion.

"Increasing incomes, the ex-pected recovery of economic growth and the rise of Asean, in-frastructure development pro-jects, and 3G and digital-TV investment projects, as well as low interest rates, are positive factors for the growth of many businesses next year," said Thanavath Phonvichai, director to the UTCC's Economic and Business Forecasting Centre.

However, risks to business growth are political instability, uncertainty over the recovery of the global economy, rising fuel prices, fluctuating exchange rates, higher costs of production, and natural disasters.

The study found that businesses dealing in plastic flowers, parquet, wooden furniture, dried vegetables and fruits, handicrafts, leather goods and certain textiles, traditional retail shops, printers, and electric fans would be in decline as higher costs of production and high competition result in lower profits in the coming year.

Seamless market

Thanavath said businesses needed to learn to adapt to the Asean seamless market by trading more with other countries in the region. Those businesses that would show outstanding returns next year would be those that have penetrated across the borders. Condominium development is also considered one of top 10 outstanding businesses for 2014 because it has grown in border provinces such as Trat and Chiang Rai.

Many medical and beauty clinics have also expanded into neighbouring countries and others in Asean, foreseeing that people will be more concerned about health and beauty.

Other businesses that are expected to show significant growth next year are plastic pellets; education, especially tutorial institutes; chemical products; life insurance; beverages; construction and construction materials; property; and energy, including alternative sources.

Wachira Khuntaweethep, assistant director of the centre, said large enterprises would enjoy the strongest growth next year at about 5.1 per cent, while small enterprises would grow by only 4.2 per cent and medium-sized enterprises by 4.9 per cent.

Businesses in the agricultural sector will grow by 2.4 per cent, and manufacturing and other services by 4.6 per cent, the centre predicts.


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