Marine Exports to Thailand
Thailand's marine industry is reasonably sized and is capable of building a range of vessels from small fibreglass vessels to commercial ships. With high percentages of marine products imported to Thailand, demand for marine products continues to increase as a result of the government's policy on zero boat tax on leisure vessels, which started in February 2004.
Marine products and services from Australia are particularly competitive compared to the USA and Europe. This is due to the depreciation of Thai and Australian currencies against the US dollar, proximity to the market and the Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA) that benefits in tariff reduction of most marine products. Australian marine design features are considered equal or superior to other imported products in Thailand.
Business opportunities for the Australian marine industry in Thailand are closely related to the tourism industry. The number of international tourist arrivals reached 14.46 million in 2007.
Thailand's Harbour Department at the Ministry of Transport and Communications is currently responsible for granting a licence to own and operate various vessel types, but there is no agency governing the standards of the vessels used in the marine industry.
Depreciation of the Australian dollar and proximity to the market has provided a competitive edge against the USA and Europe for marine product suppliers. This has resulted in Australia being able to capture some new business, although in a shrinking market. The ability to gain market share and introduce Australian marine technology at a time of downturn will position them well for the future when economic growth resumes.
For more information please see www.austrade.gov.au/Marine-to-Thailand/default.aspx