Bangkok – The European Association for Business and Commerce (EABC) hosted the launch event for its Business Confidence Survey 2015 at the Sofitel Sukhumvit Bangkok on Friday, 25 September 2015. The main objective of this Survey is to explore the European business confidence in the Thai economy as well as to investigate their view on current trade-and-investment-related issues, especially the issues of EU – Thailand FTA and the GSP cancellation. The result shows that the European business community is still optimistic and confidence in Thailand while EU – Thailand FTA renegotiation is necessary and will be more effective with the complement of regulatory reforms that accommodate favorable trade and investment climate
Mr. Rolf-Dieter Daniel
, President of EABC, presented the result of EABC’s Business Confidence Survey 2015 shown the optimistic perspective of European business community toward Thailand’s economy; believing that the economy would improve in the next two years. Similarly, the respondent companies also trusted that their business performance shall improve along with the economic trend, with the main driver of an increase in customer base and market demand. However, the concern is posted on government plans or regulators that may hamper ease of doing business in the country; thus, affect decision of foreign investment expansion.
The Survey is conducted by the EABC, in collaboration with a Consortium of 16 European Chambers of Commerce and Associations in Thailand and Europe. It consists of 26 questions, under 5 categories, with the total number of 127 respondents. It not only keep the statistic record of European companies operated in Thailand, but also explore their view on current trade and investment topics, which maybe at their interest, such as the impact of GSP cancellation and the potential renegotiation of EU –Thailand Free Trade Agreement (FTA). A significant concern was shown from the result of the Survey on the impact of the GSP loss on the export performance, particular in the manufacturing sector. Despite the concern, only few companies have already taken a business plan to adapt to this change.
The Survey also asked about the business perspective on the renegotiation of EU – Thailand FTA. The result indicated that although the renegotiation of FTA is important and necessary, regulatory reforms that will bring favorable trade and investment climate is a must as a complementary element to upgrade doing business in Thailand; thus, strengthen the country towards competitive economy. To maintain their profitability, the businesses plan to enhance their customer base and sale activities in Thailand, rather than expanding market in the region. The most concerned threat for the business is voted as political uncertainty. All in all, with the dynamics of business and regulatory implementation in Thailand, the European business community agreed that support from chambers of commerce and other trade organization in terms of business facilitation is crucial, particular in the area of policy dialogue and advocacy.
For further fruitful discussion, the EABC also invited Dr. Phacharaphot Nuntramas
, the Head of Economic and Financial Market Research, Economic Intelligence Center, Siam Commercial Bank, as a keynote speaker to share his view on “Investment Direction Towards 2015 and Beyond for European Business Community in Thailand and ASEAN”. Dr. Phacharaphot shared that, “Although the global economy is expected to recover, the regional economy, Asia and Thailand, would recover at a slower rate, primarily due to China’s economic slowdown.” Four key determinants were discussed for the Thai economy, covered an export concern, potential decline in consumption, infrastructure/ megaproject investment, and strong tourism growth. The most efficient business strategy is to find the new investment theme that suits a country’s capacity best; for example, innovative and services industries such as ICT, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, financial services for US and EU businesses, and consumer discretionary sector for Asia business. Under the light of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) implementation, businesses in Thailand must adapt an ASEAN strategy to maintain their competitiveness. Moreover, it is very important to take an advantage of various investment promotion schemes that the Thai Government is now offering to the private sector, which include interesting sectors for European Business Community such as medical services, digital, automotive, and petrochemicals. During the Q&As session, Dr. Phacharaphot also emphasized the role of services liberalization in strengthening Thailand toward more competitive economy in the global market.
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For more information, please contact EABC Communication and Event Manager
Patthira Weir (Anne) Tel: 02-670 -0624 ext. 102 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
About EABC: Please visit website www.eabc-thailand.eu
The European Association for Business and Commerce (EABC) is a European Trade Organization. Funded by the European Union and situated in Bangkok Thailand with an objective to contribute to the improvement of trade and investment for European companies in Thailand and to increase European Trade and Investment in Thailand.