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6 Oct 2006


Non-Hotel Catering Business: THB 300 million…Growing by 20 Percent (Business Brief No.1873)

Australia is an economically stable country with rather good potential. Thailand and Australia have long been had close ties politically, economically and socially. With a huge number of tourist arrivals they receive each year and a cosmopolitan atmosphere, demand for goods there is quite diverse. This is particularly true for Thai handicrafts with exquisite designs and good quality. Among the Thai products with likely good potential there are ceramics, woodcarvings, and of course Thai silk and silk products. During the first seven months of this year, exports of silk and silk products from Thailand to Australia reached THB13.1 million, up 3.13 percent, year-on-year.
Evidently, exports of Thai silk products, including garments, handkerchiefs, scarves, neckties, etc., rose markedly from THB3.2 million in 2001, to THB8.0 million in 2005. Likewise, Thai silk product shipments to Australia during the first seven months of this year totaled THB5.3 million, up 70.84 percent, over-year. For Thai silk fabric, its export growth slowed to an 18.63 percent, year-on-year, over the same period. KASIKORN RESEARCH CENTER (KResearch) thus takes the view that Thai silk products may greatly contribute to steady expansion of the market for Thai silk in ;Down Under”. As estimates go, Thailand's exports of this product category will likely grow nearly 10 percent to total some THB25 million, this year.
However, it was found that Thai silk and silk products have not penetrated the Australian market as actively as China and India have, who have steadfastly approached this market to the point that their market shares are evidently somewhat higher than Thailand's; it is forecast that their positions will solidify further in the future. Therefore, KResearch views that Thai entrepreneurs should expedite adjusting strategies in both manufacturing and marketing to more seriously compete by using the advantages of improved cost management systems to lower costs, raising the standard of silk cocoons to reduce waste through modern technological aids, creating distinction and differentiation by relying on skilled and intricate Thai craftsmanship in conjunction with recognizable Thai brand names while developing quality and design.

Designs should emphasize a unique identity that could be a mixture of Thai and Australian motifs to approach Australian consumers, including tourist arrivals to Australia who expect to have a touch of Australian style in the silk products they purchase there. Aside from the above, entrepreneurs should move to penetrate the middle and high-end markets more thoroughly, as well as targeting customers at hotels and spas, offering silk products that might be used as home decorative items. However, their prices must be properly positioned to be able to compete.

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