Thai Firms Look To Plug Into Demand For Appliances In Cambodia

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Air-conditioner compressors at a Bangkok apartment building. Thailand hopes to increase its exports of air-conditioners to Cambodia. KHMER TIMES / REUTERS

Thailand expects exports of electrical and electronic components and devices to Cambodia to grow to about $50 million this year due to high demand.

Cambodia is one of the potential markets, said Chanthapat Panjamanond, head of the industrial products division of Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce. A building boom in Cambodia reflects the demand for electronic components and devices, he noted.

“Cambodia is a growing country, so when there is new construction, they need more air conditioners and refrigerators. This is an opportunity for Thailand’s products,” added Chanthapat.

Last year, Thailand exported electronic components including refrigeration units, heating components, air-conditioning and ventilation systems to Cambodia worth $43 million, according to figures revealed at a Thailand-Cambodia Business Matching and Meeting event yesterday. Chanthapat expected that this figure would increase by 15 percent this year.

Fred Guillo, export manager at Eminent Air, a Thai air-conditioning manufacturer, said the company sees Cambodia as a growing market and has learned that the Cambodian market has a preference for Thai products.

“We want to better understand the needs of the markets here and try to find partners in Cambodia, although we have some sales of our products here,” Guillo said.

“Our sales in Cambodia have not been high because we’re still studying the market but we can see the potential for growth is very high. What we know of consumers in Cambodia is that they appreciate Thai products.”

Guillo said his company wants to join market leaders Japan and China in supplying the company’s products to Cambodia.

Trade between Cambodia and Thailand was worth $5.6 billion last year, up from $5.5 billion over the previous year, according to Thai embassy figures.

Thailand’s exports to Cambodia amounted to $4.7 billion last year while Cambodian exports to Thailand were worth $936 million.

This article was originally published in the Khmer Times.