Autoparts fair to show Thailand’s potential as ASEAN leader

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BANGKOK, April 26 – Thailand Department of Export Promotion (DEP) and the Thai Autoparts Manufacturers Association are holding the 5th Thailand Auto Parts & Accessories 2012 (TAPA 2012) to show Thailand’s readiness as autoparts industry leader in the ASEAN region.

Over 400 Thai and international autoparts entrepreneurs are participating in the fair Thursday through Sunday at the Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Centre (BITEC) in Bangna.

Exhibitors come from Taiwan, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the United States, Germany, the United Arab Emirates, Australia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and China.

Foreign buyers expected for trade negotiations are from the Southeast Asian region itself, South Asia, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, and African and European Union countries, while the circulation of Bt470 million was estimated for the 4-day event.

Deputy Commerce Minister Poom Sarapol said not only did his ministry target the fair as a regional exhibition, but it showcases Thailand’s readiness now as an autoparts hub for ASEAN after quickly recovering from last year’s mega flood.

He said the event promotes the Thai auto industry as one of the world’s top ten car manufacturers, while supporting the ASEAN Economic Community to take effect in 2015.

Regarding the impacts of higher production costs and the Bt300/day minimum wage, Mr Poom said the industry and finance ministries are finding solutions for the affected entrepreneurs, and that his ministry is trying to promote exports and sales volume.

Many autoparts factories have been impacted by the recent floods, but most have already resumed operation, according to the minister. He emphasised confidence that Thai autoparts exports will continue to grow.

Other TAPA 2012 activities include a ‘green technology’ seminar and an eco car exhibition by Toyota, Nissan, and Isuzu.

The export value of Thailand’s automobile and autoparts industry last year reached US$22 billion, of which $12.3 billion was for automotive goods and $9.7 billion for autoparts and accessories.

The value of automotive exports alone is expected to reach $13 billion this year, a 8.9 per cent rise, while the value of autoparts and accessories exports is forecast to exceed $10 billion, an increase of 10 per cent.