Thai Automotive Industry Needs to Adopt Sustainability and Global Regulations

Thai Automotive Industry Needs to Adopt Sustainability and Global Regulations

The Thai automotive industry is facing the challenge of adapting to new global regulations that focus on sustainability and clean energy, while using free trade agreements (FTAs) to boost its competitiveness. The Commerce Minister met with the industry representatives on Wednesday and urged them to keep up with the changes and create a new balance.

The Commerce Minister, Phumtham Wechayachai, held a meeting with the executives from the Thai Automotive Industry Association (TAIA) and the Automotive Industry Club of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) on Wednesday, January 14, 2024. The meeting discussed the current situation and the future prospects of the Thai automotive industry, which is one of the major revenue generators for the country.

The minister said the government wants the industry to be aware of the new global trade regulations that emphasize sustainability, clean energy, and rules of origin, and to adjust to the changing mechanisms accordingly. He said the government will support the industry by coordinating with relevant authorities and partners, such as the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry, the Customs Department, and Australia, to resolve the issues and obstacles faced by the exporters.

Industry Faces Challenges and Opportunities

The industry representatives expressed their concerns and suggestions to the minister, especially regarding the export challenges and the FTA negotiations. They said the industry needs to transition to the future vehicles, particularly electric vehicles (EVs), and to leverage the FTA benefits to enhance their market access and competitiveness.

They also said the industry lacks its own brand, which makes it difficult to compete with other global players. They asked the minister to include the industry in the FTA negotiations, and to adjust the conditions to suit the Thai industry, such as the details of the product origin.

The industry also faced some problems with the export of vehicles to Australia, which is a significant market for Thailand. Some vehicles were found to have illegal grasses and dust contamination, which resulted from the geographical conditions in Laem Chabang, where the vehicles were shipped from. The minister assured that the government will work with the Australian authorities to solve the problem as soon as possible.

Industry Needs to Embrace Sustainability and Innovation

The minister also urged the industry to embrace sustainability and innovation, as the global market is shifting towards clean energy and digitalization. He said the industry needs to invest more in research and development, and to adopt the latest technologies and standards, such as EVs, autonomous driving, and smart mobility.

He said the government will also promote and support the industry by creating a conducive environment and infrastructure, such as EV charging stations, smart city projects, and green logistics. He said the government aims to make Thailand a global hub for the production and export of automobiles, and to contribute to the country’s economic and social development.