Bright prospects for Thai automobile exports

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BANGKOK, Aug 12 — Nantawan Sakuntanak, director-general of the Department of International Trade Promotion, said she still saw a bright prospect for Thai automobile exports. She said the country remains the most interesting investment destination in Southeast Asia.

Ms Nantawan said that the department continued to expect the value of automobile exports to grow by 10 per cent to more than US$20 billion and auto parts to increase by 10 per cent as well, to more than US$13 billion this year.

The automotive industry is benefiting from Board of Investment economic stimulation measures and promotional privileges on automobile investment projects, including the second-phase eco-car scheme.

Ms Nantawan said that Thailand remains the most favourable destination in ASEAN for investors thanks to its standard of skilled labor and its role as an international logistics centre.

From June to December this year Thailand will produce nearly 500,000 vehicles, increasing by 9.4 per cent from its production from March to May.

The department predicts Thailand will produce 2.2 million vehicles this year.

Its main markets are Australia, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates, Chile, New Zealand, Oman and Laos.

Its major competitors are Germany, Japan and Korea. Ms Nantawan said Thailand has the edge for its potential production of pickup trucks and eco-cars.