Thailand is strengthening its role as a leading global hub of plastics manufacturing, with makers placing greater emphasis on value-added and environmental-friendly products, all reinforced by strong government policies. Whether employed for design beauty or structural integrity, plastics are crucial to most sectors in the country. Active in everything from smartcards to furniture, the Thai plastics industry is growing consistently, and demand in the vigorous domestic economy is the key driver. Within the four types of packaging materials, plastic ranks second with a 25% share, following paper’s 40% and ahead of metal and glass.
With a well-developed infrastructure from production to logistics, the trillion-baht chemical industry is one of Thailand’s most vibrant business sectors. The country’s foreign trade in chemicals hit 463 billion baht in 2009, and domestic sales were nearly tripled. Thailand hosts both foreign-owned and homegrown companies as PTT, SCG, Rayong Olefins, Thai Tank Terminal, Dow, Mitsubishi, TPI, ExxonMobil and the world’s largest chemical manufacturer, BASF, which has operated in Thailand for more than 40 years.
The Thai printing industry, comprised of more than 5,000 companies, is fully integrated, with paper manufacturing, graphic arts design, pre-press houses, various printing systems and post-press houses. Thailand’s printing establishments as a whole offer four major printed products – books, general printed materials, packaging, and newspaper to both local and export markets. The market size of the industry is valued in excess of US$20 billion.
Thailand’s automotive sector absorbs US$897 million in plastics for parts on trucks, vans, cars and motorcycles annually. Petrochemical businesses have experienced especially rapid expansion, with the Thai government currently in the third wave of its 2004-2018 development plan for those sectors. Thai producers are also attempting to gain market share in neighboring countries such as Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, whose printing markets are not as mature as Thailand’s.
- Manufacture of industrial chemicals
- Manufacture of eco-friendly chemicals or polymers or products from eco-friendly polymers
- Oil refinery
- Manufacture of petrochemicals
- Manufacture of specialty polymers or specialty chemicals
- Manufacture of plastic products for industrial goods
- Manufacture of plastic packages with special properties
- Manufacture of plastic products from recycled plastic
- Active pharmaceutical ingredients
- Manufacture of medicine
- Manufacture of chemical fundamental fertilizers
- Manufacture of pulp or paper
- Manufacture of paper articles
- Production of printed matter