Under assumptions that there is no serious resurgence of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Thailand, which allows the relevant authorities to gradually relax international travel restrictions, and the majority of people in Thailand receives COVID-19 vaccines in late 2021 while the domestic political situation does not significantly impede the government's budgetary disbursements, we at KResearch are of the view that key industries in country may still recover at different paces, depending on the levels of impact from various factors while some industries may experience specific challenges such as technological changes, effects of the US-China trade war, a race to become a technology leader in the global market, and supply glut.
Preliminarily, KResearch expects that although many key industries will bounce back in 2021 due to the low 2020 base, the majority of them may not resume growth at their pre-COVID-19 levels in 2019. The impact of COVID-19 on the F&B, electronic, electrical appliance, retail and medical industries will be moderate to minimal (they are projected to shrink at less than 15 percent in 2020). In 2021, these industries may grow at almost on a par with their pre-COVID-19 levels, which would be better than other industries that have been hard hit by COVID-19 such as the hotel and restaurant, automotive, transportation, storage and residential property industries (they are projected to contract at more than 15 percent in 2020).
The above assessment reflects our broad-based views towards various Thai industries that continue to experience high levels of uncertainty. It does not suggest that all businesses in each of those industries make adjustments in line with their industrial trends because conditions of each business are different. While the COVID-19 pandemic presents an immediate challenge, many factors will likely trigger changes within the future business environment, and they will present challenges to various industries, especially the consumer market that tends to be relatively complex and change rapidly in line with technological advancements. However, KResearch is of the view that our assessment of the 2021 industrial outlook may benefit the relevant agencies as it can be used to map out specific measures to help ailing industries weather this difficult time.