In August 2013, representatives of Reed Exhibitions, organizers of SinoCorrugated South 2014, arrived in Bangkok to launch the second leg of their SE Asia promotional tour.
During the trip, the delegation toured a number of corrugated box manufacturing enterprises. They also visited with trade associations, including the Thai Corrugated Packaging Association, the Thai Packaging Association and the Thai Printing Association, holding discussions on the industry status and market development trends in Thai corrugated packaging.
A large number of companies in Thailand engage in printing and packaging. Of these, about 300 can be classified as large-scale enterprises. The annual market value of the local printing and packaging industry is about THB 400 billion to 500 billion (USD 12.1 - 15.2 billion).
Kriengkrai Thiennukul, Chairman of the Printing and Paper Packaging Industry Club of the Federation of Thai Industries believes that Thailand is ready for the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), as his country is top within the trade bloc in terms of printing and packaging technologies, having surpassed Singapore a number of years ago and now boasting a GDP growth rate of 7% - 8%. The establishment of the AEC is expected to stimulate a boom in exports of printing and packaging products, which are set to increase from THB 60 billion to 100 billion (USD 1.8 - 3 billion).
In 2013, Thailand's corrugated packaging industry showed a stable growth momentum, with production capacity returning to normal levels after the severe floods of 2011. The strong demand from ASEAN countries is set to activate a number of fantastic business opportunities for Thailand's paper packaging enterprises, by supporting the expansion of production bases inside the country and beyond its borders to supply food, consumer goods and other manufacturers in Thailand. This will help the local paper packaging trade to increase sales channels, as well as sales and export volumes.
According to the International Corrugated Case Association (ICCA), Thailand's corrugated industry is expected to maintain a growth rate of 5% between 2013 and 2016, giving rise to remarkable development opportunities.
Chathip Boonchuey, Secretary General of the Thai Corrugated Packaging Association, revealed that Thailand has 800 - 1,000 corrugated board and box factories of all sizes, 90% of which are concentrated in and around Bangkok. According to Noppadol Krairiksh, Vice Chairman of the Thai Packaging Association, most paper packaging products in Thailand are used to contain products from various industries and for export products. This results in very close links between the industry's health and the macro and micro economies.
Thailand's economic growth depends trends in global economic development. If the global economy starts to recover, the country's economic growth can be expected to regain the 2012 levels of around 5%. However, the Thai economy is subject to many other factors too: for example the European debt crisis, the U.S. financial crisis, fractious Sino-Japanese relations, unemployment rates in Europe and US, changes in exchange rates and the occurrence of natural disasters. Thailand is the export base for many countries' industries, including food, consumables, automobiles and electronics. As all of these need paper packaging, the demand for this in Thailand continues to grow. Rising minimum wages will lead to rising purchasing power, which is good news for the packaging and printing industry.
Pornchai Rattanachaikanont, Chairman of the Thai Printing Association and Noppadol Krairiksh, Vice Chairman of the Thai Packaging Association both assert that SinoCorrugated South is the leading corrugated box manufacturing exhibition in Asia-Pacific. As such, the trade association leaders will share details of the event and encourage their association members to visit the show, in a move to promote long-term development of the printing industries in both China and Thailand.