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31 Mar 2006


Electronics 2006: export to grow over 20 percent

The electronics industry is quite important to the nation's exports with the biggest proportion of export value, about 23 percent of total exports. Thailand's electronics exports in 2005 were valued at USD22,315 million, or THB790,175 million, representing an increase of 15.68 percent over the previous year, accounting for 15.8 percent of the GDP, and generating more than 500,000 job positions. The most important of these goods were hard disc drives, computer parts and integrated circuits.

Thai-made electronics are mostly exported, thus changes in trade conditions and the world market unavoidably affect the country's overall electronics industry. The trend for Thai electronics growth in 2006 should be good due to expanded investments in the country's electronics industry, and increasing world market demand, especially for hard disc drives, which should allow Thailand to export more.

For 2006, the electronic parts industry of Thailand is growing continuously from last year. KASIKORN RESEARCH CENTER (KResearch) estimates that exports of Thai-made electronic parts will be about USD26,770 million, rising by 20 percent over 2005, because of expanded investments from other countries and the continuous growth in demand for electronic goods in global markets. However, the electronics industry of Thailand still faces with many risks such as volatility in currency exchange rates, advances in production technology, the adjustments being made by domestic entrepreneurs and competition from foreign countries, which will require Thailand to accelerate developing itself to manage these various risks.

The electronics industry has an important role as a driving force for the country's economy; especially as an important employer. As a result, the government has to expedite eradication of obstacles that inhibit the long-term growth of the electronic parts industry. Although this industry has been developing for some time, it is still not as large as it could be. The state sector should help form linkages between the production of upstream and downstream goods, and support research and development, adjust tariff structures, as well as build infrastructure and public utilities to eliminate obstacles that block the development of Thai producers. Moreover, the authorities should help in the development of highly skilled and competent human resources, particularly circuit board designers, for the purpose of developing the electronics industry of Thailand to grow constantly in the future.