The global recession has forced a contraction in Thailand's exports of electrical and electronic appliances. The export value in February fell more than 31.3 percent YoY, dropping steadily from January. The domestic market has softened too, but to a lesser extent than international markets due to their uncertainty about economic conditions increasing unemployment, thus slowing consumers' purchases.
Therefore, KASIKORN RESEARCH CENTER (KResearch) expects Thailand's exports of electrical and electronic appliances in 2009 will be prone to a contraction of -10 to -20 percent – earning around THB35-40.3 billion – versus 2008. The export value to key markets is likely contract drastically and stays that way until at least 3Q09. Goods that will be hurt the most will largely be air conditioners and parts, televisions and parts, plus electronics such as computers and peripherals, printed circuits, etc.
Although overall exports this year will not be so bright, KResearch views that a better future lies ahead in some markets, such as exports to Eastern Europe, plus to new markets in Africa and South America, South Asia and developing Asian nations that include Vietnam, Laos, India and Bangladesh where the rate of electrical appliance ownership is quite low. Also, infrastructure in these markets is still being developed. Entrepreneurs can take advantage of this opportunity to distribute their products to emerging markets to help maintain their production levels and diversify risk; that will help relieve the negative impacts of contracted sales in existing markets.
Furthermore, the government can promote and support penetration into new markets by giving support in the form of cost reductions or funding, as well as providing in-depth country information to entrepreneurs. In existing markets, economic stimuli might benefit the exports of some products, so entrepreneurs should focus on foreign markets regularly to reveal new opportunities and adjust their production to suit the changing situations.