Thai paint manufacturer TOA Paint (Thailand) plans to invest at least 1 billion baht (about $28.2 million) in three new factories in Cambodia, Myanmar and Indonesia, according to a report in Thai newspaper The Nation.
Pongcherd Jemeekornkul, the president of TOA Paint (Thailand), told the paper that after establishing its sales representative offices and warehouses in Cambodia and Indonesia, the company had seen the huge potential in both countries. Therefore, the company had decided to build two new factories in Cambodia and Indonesia, with an investment of at least one billion baht, Mr. Pongcherd said.
The new sites will occupy large areas of land and all the plants are expected to be ready for production by the second quarter of next year, the report.
“The paint market in neighboring countries is very alluring as these markets strongly prefer Thai products,” he said.
After full operation of three new factories in 2018, TOA Paint (Thailand) aims to generate total revenue of 20 billion baht (about $565.5 million). Of that figure, one-third will come from the overseas market, doubling from only 15 percent last year, the report said.
Ross Wheble, country manager at Knight Frank, told Khmer Times that with Cambodia’s strategic position along the East-West corridor between Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh, “we see good long term potential in the Cambodian industrial sector, but there remains a number of challenges such as infrastructure, high electricity costs and a limited supply of international standard warehouses.”
“However, the government and private sector developers have been addressing these issues and we are seeing increasing interest from multinational companies, with the Phnom Penh Economic Zone a prime example of the benefits of a well-executed special economic zone. Furthermore, the under-construction Kerry Worldbridge
Manufacturing & Logistics Centre will set a new benchmark for Cambodia in the industrial and logistics sector,” Mr. Wheble said.
“This is in line with the government’s Industrial Development Policy to move Cambodia up the value-added chain; we will see the development of better quality warehousing to cater to this growing demand,” he added.
“The ongoing improvements in infrastructure, declining energy costs and the development of more special economic zones will undoubtedly attract investment into the Kingdom.”
Total trade between Cambodia and Thailand reached $5 billion in 2014, with Cambodian exports to Thailand adding up to $571 million, according to figures from the Commerce Ministry.
Jiranun Wongmongkol, director of the foreign trade office at the Royal Thai Embassy in Phnom Penh, said Thailand has studied neighboring countries like Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar. The study concluded that Cambodia had the top economic growth of these countries.
“The purchasing power in Cambodia is rising with the Cambodian economy growing 7 percent annually,” she added.
Prime Minister Hun Sen and his Thai counterpart, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, in December agreed to work together to triple bilateral trade to $15 billion a year by 2020.