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Cheap and substandard imports hurting Thai industries – FTI CEO Poll

Written by World Events

Most Thai industrialists admit that their businesses have been affected by the imports of cheap and substandard products, particularly electrical appliances, food, textiles, cosmetics and garments, according to the latest Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) CEO Poll, conducted in February.

The survey gauged the opinions of 234 chief executive officers of 46 industrial groups and 76 provincial industrial councils.

FTI Vice President Montri Mahaplerkpong said that 65.8% of the respondents admit that such imports have been affecting their sales by as much as 30%, causing them to worry about the long-term effects, because their production costs are higher and cannot compete with the imports.

The respondents have also expressed concern about consumer safety from substandard food, cosmetics, construction materials and electrical appliances and is urging government authorities to tighten controls on products which do not meet the required standards set by Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration (TFDA) and the Thailand Industrial Standard Institute (TISI).

The respondents also call for a review of the VAT exemption for online sales of goods not exceeding 1,500 baht, as well as the terms of the Free Zone Warehouse and a new measure to prevent declaration of false information about products.

On the question of the competitiveness of Thai products in the ASEAN market, most respondents admit that Thai products are facing increasing difficulty due to higher electricity charges, labour costs, increased interest rates and logistic costs, which have all driven up production costs. The volume of Thai exports to the ASEAN market for 2023 dropped 7.12% from the preceding year.

The poll shows that 57.7% of the respondents admit Thai products will find it more difficult to compete in the ASEAN market. 11% believe, however, that Thai products are still popular and remain competitive in the ASEAN market.

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