In our hyper-connected world, supply chain integrity is vital — and there are a few places that have refined this process like Thailand. From sourcing materials through manufacture, distribution, and delivery, Thailand’s tried-and-trusted ecosystem continues to prove itself.
But the real test of supply chain resilience comes during times of uncertainty. The 2020 global pandemic arrived quickly and immediately caused disruption to individuals, businesses, and governments worldwide.
So, when the crisis hit, Thailand had to act decisively. Borders were closed, international flights grounded, and a nationwide lockdown imposed to halt the spread of the virus. This swift and proactive response was in step with a national spirit of resilience that has helped the kingdom overcome previous hurdles, from epidemics to natural disasters and economic crises.
Of course, it wasn’t just a concerted national effort that helped Thailand weather this particular storm and remain a viable option for business.
Gateway to Asean
Its well-connectedness lies in its seamless national travel options and an even dispersal of essential services throughout the country. When this is combined with a resilient supply chain that’s diverse enough to prevail against almost anything it encounters, Thailand has the credibility and appeal to reassure investors and provide stakeholders with stability in challenging times.
Thailand’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic revealed the strength of its healthcare offering, showing exactly why it ranked sixth out of 195 countries in the 2019 Global Health Security Index. It should be noted that Thailand holds the accolade of being the only developing country to earn a spot in the top ten.
We have not had to stop production for a single day during the pandemic.”
This was shared by Jackie Chang, the president of power and thermal management solutions specialist Delta Electronics Thailand. “That means that the critical requirements of our customers are still being met by us, which is essential.”
With its supply chain safeguarded, Delta Electronics is now focused on adapting its business to address the needs of a changing world. And thanks to life during lockdown, one of the most pressing is the changing culture around remote working.
Growing demand for work from home and other flexible workplace arrangements is a natural response to time spent working remotely during the height of the pandemic. But the ability to do so effectively and productively requires new infrastructure to support the increased demand, not just in capacity to cope with extra users, but at speeds that can handle the rigors of modern work, such as de-centralized, data-dependent work.
Plans are already underway to advance the country’s telecommunications network, driven by the Thai government and industry partners.
The ability to recognize opportunities (and blockers to growth) and quickly following through with them, has led to Thailand becoming the first country in ASEAN to have commercial 5G services. As 5G rolls out to a wider coverage area, partners like Delta Electronics will build and upgrade data centers and infrastructure to support the increased usage and provide uninterrupted service.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Thailand’s frontline medical personnel
Delta Electronics is also a key player in Thailand’s electronics sector: a growth area for the country. Its high-efficiency DC brushless blowers have supported the domestic development and production of Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPR) and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the kingdom’s frontline medical personnel. It donated 10,500 of the blowers during the 2020 global pandemic.
The donation was a gesture of solidarity with a country that has been integral to the success of Delta Electronics for over 30 years, a period in which it has witnessed consolidated revenue growth exceeding USD1.3billion.
Thailand has a record of backing up strong words with action,” said Chang. “The government formulates a plan and implements it while maintaining strong communication with stakeholders and citizens. Such decisiveness gives us great reassurance about Thailand’s potential to adapt and strengthen under even the most difficult circumstances.”
Along with a resilient supply chain and state-of-the-art infrastructure, investors and entrepreneurs can draw on a deep pool of resources when investing in Thailand. Unrestricted access to talent in a diverse portfolio of growth industries such as biosciences and medical tech, and freely given governmental support make Thailand an intriguing prospect for businesses searching for stability.
“Not only is Thailand cost-effective to do business, but it also has great logistical connections — by air, land, and freight — and a health system that ranks highly on a global scale,” added Chang. “Being able to rely on these institutions, especially in a crisis, helps to instill confidence.”
Other investors are showing similar trust, and it’s easy to see why.
In the World Bank’s 2020 ease of doing business rankings, Thailand moved up six places to 21st out of 190 countries. With its friendly regulatory environment backed up by a steely sense of purpose, the country has earned both its reputation as a resilient investment hub and the trust of investors needing business continuity and security.
“As seen in the recent crisis, businesses are concerned about their supply chain management and strategy. Cost-effectiveness and a resilient location are key decision influencers, and Thailand provides both,” said Duangjai Asawachintachit, Secretary-General of the Thailand Board of Investment. “The country’s diverse economic structure, coupled with its strategic location, offers a safe and convenient haven for investors.”
“It’s not just talk and no action – things are actually happening in Thailand,” says Chang, speaking about the freely offered and regularly updated support from Thailand’s government institutions like the Board of Investment.
These actions and activities really give us high confidence in the development and progress, as well as the country’s future road map, will keep Thailand in this position.”
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