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Thailand’s Leading Manufacturing Sectors: A Glimpse from 2019-2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has left an indelible mark on economies worldwide, with Thailand being no exception. While several business sectors faced shutdowns, certain manufacturing industries in Thailand found opportunities amidst the crisis. Data from the Office of Industrial Economics of Thailand reveals that between April and September 2020, compared to 2019, four manufacturing sectors stood out, capitalizing on the changing dynamics brought about by the pandemic.

1. Pharmaceutical industry

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crop laboratory technician examining interaction of chemicals in practical test modern lab
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thermometer on medical pills
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The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in January 2020 underscored the importance of hygiene as a primary preventive measure. This led to a surge in the global demand for hygiene products. Concurrently, the pharmaceutical sector emerged as a frontline warrior, striving to develop tests, vaccines, and treatments to combat the virus. This urgency translated into a 15.7% spike in chemical production.

2. Food Industry

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person holding a bowl of noodles

With lockdowns in place and many restaurants shuttered, home became the new workspace and dining area. This shift altered consumer purchasing patterns, with a noticeable tilt towards long-lasting products like frozen foods, canned goods, instant noodles, and powdered milk. As per the Office of Industrial Economics of Thailand, production rates for these food items saw a 1.7% uptick.

3. Electronics Industry

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The pandemic catalyzed the transition to remote work, online education, and e-commerce. A report by Businesswire highlighted that the consumer electronics e-commerce market, which was valued at $282.6 billion in 2019, is projected to touch $373.6 billion in 2020 and further soar to $548.4 billion by 2023. Reflecting this trend, Thailand’s electronics production rate jumped by 1.67% between 2019 and 2020.

4. Rubber Gloves Industry

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The pandemic-induced demand wasn’t limited to medical and chemical products. The rubber gloves industry experienced a surge, with manufacturers ramping up production to cater to the escalating requirements. Thailand, recognized as the world’s second-largest exporter of rubber gloves, recorded a 32.7% production increase in 2020 compared to the previous year. This surge was driven by the heightened demand from domestic medical institutions and international markets, notably the USA and Japan. It’s worth noting that manufacturers globally, including those in India, have been working relentlessly to fulfill the influx of orders.

In conclusion, while the pandemic posed challenges, it also unveiled opportunities. Thailand’s manufacturing sectors showcased resilience and adaptability, turning adversities into avenues for growth.

Source: Office of Industrial Economics of Thailand, Businesswire.

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