Asian Century vision overlooks Thailand

Thailand has a strong manufacturing base and Australian businesses could potentially benefit handsomely from investing in the country.

The Australian (visiting as a guest of the Thailand Board of Investment) reports that Australia’s investment in Thailand is small at $2.1 billion last year, compared to Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, which invested over $5 billion each.

Australia is in its 60th year of diplomatic relations with Thailand, but has overlooked the huge manufacturing base in that country, which employs 5.3 million people in the sector. Manufacturing makes up over a third of Thailand’s GDP.

"I think that Thailand provides the ideal platform for Australian manufacturers to escape the limitations of their small domestic market," Carey Ramm of economic consultants AEC Group told The Australian.

"A small number of Australian firms have demonstrated how Thailand can be used as a base for expansion. They are not only saving manufacturing jobs in Australia, but creating them."

Companies such as machine tool maker ANCA have had successes in Thailand, but the country’s potential has been overlooked compared to China’s, the article suggests.