HSBC survey shows most Thai businesses optimistic

Thai business executives are optimistic about the future and are investing in improving the quality of their products and services, digital transformation, and expanding into new markets, according to a survey conducted by HSBC bank.

The global bank’s survey of businesses in 16 Asia-Pacific countries found that Thai firms are still ready to invest and are increasingly looking to expand their business and trade in the Asia-Pacific region. Of the Thai companies participating in the poll, 65 percent are trading in the region. However, 14 percent of Thai companies are targeting markets in the U.S. in their growth strategies.

“Intra-regional trade already accounts for some 60 percent of Asia’s overall trade, and it is a figure that will only grow,” said Krisda Phatcharoen, Country Head of Commercial Banking for HSBC Thailand.

“Intra-Asian integration will not only strengthen the region’s role in the global trading system but also position Thailand to take part in the next round of global economic growth,” he added.

Thailand is expected to benefit from post-pandemic investment trends because it kept its factories open while those in other countries were shutting down. That has led multinationals to re-examine their supply chains. Many have expressed interest in relocating elements of their manufacturing to the Kingdom.

Thai companies have been responding to the pandemic by predominantly focusing on improving the quality of their products and services (47 percent), reducing costs (43 percent) and expanding into new markets (43 percent), according to the HSBC survey.

Krisda stressed, however, that cutting costs is not the same as cutting investments. More than three-quarters (76 percent) of Thai businesses said they would increase investment in 2021, mainly in product innovation (65 percent), digital platforms and tools (65 percent) and new sales channels (63 percent).

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