11 July 2024

The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) has proposed that the government increase the import duty on cheap Chinese products, or limit their import, to save Thai factories from closing because they cannot compete with products from China.

The FTI has expressed concern over the future of the plastic, metal, wood and wood processing industries in Thailand after 567 factories closed down in the first five months of this year, averaging 28 per week, with the loss of about 15,000 jobs.  An average of 26 factories closed each week of last year.

FTI vice president, Nava Chantanasurakhon, said that, even though there are fewer factories closing than opening, the situation is still a matter of serious concern.

He said that one of the main challenges for Thai manufacturers is the import of cheap products from China, which has increased its exports to ASEAN countries, including Thailand, since its products now face increased restrictions on import to the US and European Union.

Nava said the FTI would like the government to protect Thai industries which have been hardest hit by cheap Chinese imports.

In addition to increasing tariffs and restrictions on Chinese imports, he said the government should also consider ways to reduce domestic production costs, including the costs of fuel, logistics and raw materials, and help in the restructuring of Thai industries to increase their competitiveness.