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30 Mar 2023

Econ Digest

Diversification of the global electronic production bases may not be sufficient to boost Thailand’s electronics exports, which are expected to shrink by 4.5% in 2023


        In recent years, geopolitical issues between the US allies and China have contributed to changes in the global electronics supply chain. One of these is that the US allies such as Japan and South Korea have reduced their dependence on China and begun to gradually diversify their electronic production bases from China to various regions, including ASEAN. Thailand has become one of the destinations for such investments, particularly the assembly of simple electronic products. However, the benefits of such trend on the Thai electronics production and exports may not be sufficient to offset the challenges posed by various pressuring issues, including ebbing demand for electronics worldwide due to the sluggish global economy, which may lead to a recession, plus a cyclical downturn in the global electronics industry, especially computers and hard disk drives (HDD), and increased competition from neighboring nations.

        KResearch expects that the value of Thai electronics exports will shrink by 4.5% in 2023 to USD43 billion, against the 5.0% growth reported in 2022. This is mainly dragged down by exports of computers and HDDs that may decline by 4.6% and 36.2% respectively, while exports of printed circuit boards (PCB) will tend to shrink, following the cyclical downturn in the category of computers and HDDs. However, several operators like electronics manufacturers may see brighter prospects as they have adjusted their business portfolios towards the thriving electronics for the automotive market and the consumer electronics market, including electrical appliances and various gadgets, amid the trend towards electronic vehicles (EV) and smart technology.

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