British fashion and food set to push harder into Thailand
The looming advent of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) continues to have a generally positive potential outcome for Thailand, with the trade and investment division at the British embassy in Bangkok claiming that at least five major British companies involved in the fashion and food sectors are looking to use Thailand as their main base for a push into the Asean region overall.
These companies view the AEC as a great potential income earner for their businesses and consider Thailand the perfect geographical centre from which to then make inroads into nearby markets such as Myanmar, Cambodia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Laos.
According to the embassy’s trade and investment office there are around 500 British companies and brands available in Thailand already. Some of these are quite well known, Tesco being probably the most prominent. Prudential and Kenwood probably rank also quite highly in terms of local recognition.
The British embassy has said it will be involved in helping to promote British companies into Thailand.
The food preparation appliance provider Kenwood has been available in Thailand for just over 20 years, marketing its products via its local distributor the Thiptanaporn company.
The Thiptanaporn managing director is quoted as saying Kenwood aims to double its present level of product sales by 2018, reaching around 200 million baht. Kenwood’s business in Thailand has been virtually immune to economic woes, having grown every year since it entered the local marketplace. Sales have grown by a solid seven percent in the first seven months of this year.
Part of the reason Kenwood believes it has proven so successful in Thailand is the rapid growth in the condominium sector of the real estate market. Small electrical appliances are often purchased by condo dwellers, especially when kitchens may be on the small side and efficient small items can make the task of preparing meals at home that much easier.
According to senior executives within the Kenwood company, the Asia-Pacific region now accounts for 18 percent of their global sales and they fully expect this to jump to around 30 percent within the next five years. There would be a number of similar style of companies who would be thinking along similar lines.
Kenwood has stated they would like to drive their company into a top-10 position in Thailand in the future, although no specific dateline has been placed on this ambition. The company believes the strength of the food culture in Thailand makes its task that much easier and they see Thai people as being adventurous and willing to try new things.