Market Watch

Thailand Leading Way as Industry Alternative to China

TAIPEI – Taiwan’s PCB industry continues to expand its factories in Thailand and Vietnam to strengthen the resilience of the global PCB supply chain, and representatives of the Taiwanese and Thai governments are actively negotiating for assistance to Taiwanese factories, says the Taiwan Printed Circuit Association.

According to a client survey conducted by Goldman Sachs Group in early 2024, 54% of respondents see geopolitics as the main risk to the current market and the global economy, while the threat of inflation has eased. In addition to cost-effectiveness and market operations, geopolitics has become an important consideration in international supply chain strategic planning. Against this backdrop, Southeast Asia has become a direct beneficiary of the global PCB and electronics supply chain.

In addition to the advantages of abundant labor and relatively low labor costs, the geopolitical risks in Southeast Asia are also limited. Amid the current international tensions, the region has become a popular choice for enterprises seeking an alternate production base, which is conducive to promoting the development of the local PCB industry. Among them, Thailand has a leading competitiveness in the region by virtue of its relatively mature PCB and downstream electronics industry. In 2023, Thailand’s PCB local production output will account for about 3.8% of the world’s total, and it is expected to grow to 4.7% in 2025 as the world’s major PCB manufacturers continue to deploy locally.

Although the PCB supply chain in Southeast Asia is still in the early stages of development, and manufacturers still face many hidden costs, the implementation of the ASEAN Common Tariff Agreement will help improve the regional trade environment and make up for the supply chain shortcomings, TPCA said. It is expected that the initial challenges will be gradually overcome over time, resulting in improved overall cost-effectiveness, the trade group added.

Hot Takes

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