By Petchanet Pratruangkrai
The MEDICAL and beauty businesses will continue to be the champions with the strongest growth next year, followed by cosmetics and telecommunications, according to the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce.
A study by the university also found that healthcare and wellness, coffee shops, freshwater fishery and big motorcycles would be the new rising stars next year because of the ageing population, expanding urban society and changing lifestyles.
“Increasing incomes, the expected recovery of economic growth and the seamless market in Asean and cross-border trade, the government’s investment in infrastructure development projects, 4G development and low interest rates are positive factors for the growth of many businesses next year,” Thanavath Phonvichai, director of the university’s Economic and Business Forecasting Centre, said yesterday.
However, risks to business growth are political instability, uncertainty over the recovery of the global economy, fluctuating exchange rates, high public debt reducing spending power, high costs of production and natural disasters.
Businesses dealing in plastic flowers, handicrafts with no design, dried vegetables and fruits, leather goods and certain textiles, traditional retailing, cathode-ray-tube televisions, squat toilets, rice and rubber would be considered as sunset businesses because of higher costs of production, changing lifestyles in the digital era and high competition, resulting in lower profits in the coming year.
Businesses need to learn to adapt to the seamless market by trading more with other countries in the region and adopting new innovations and creativity. Businesses that would show outstanding returns next year would be those that have ventured across the borders. Condominium development is also considered one of the top 10 outstanding businesses for 2015 because of the expansion of development from Bangkok into nearby provinces and the emergence of inner and border provinces such as Chiang Mai, Phuket, Tak and Chiang Rai.
Many medical and beauty clinics have also expanded into other countries in Asean. With senior citizens now making up more than 10 per cent of the population and growing, the wellness and medical service businesses will also prosper next year.
Wachira Khuntaweethep, assistant director of the centre, said other businesses that were expected to show significant advances next year were tutoring centres, tourism, life insurance, beverages, rubber-glove production and construction.
Businesses that were among the top 10 in terms of growth this year but will slow down in 2015 are digital TV, event planning, plastics, chemical products, energy and alternative energy because of tougher competitiveness and lower oil prices both global and domestic.
Gross domestic product is expected to pick up next year, growing by 4 per cent compared with the expected growth of 0.8 per cent this year. Exports are projected to increase by 4.1 per cent, domestic consumption by 4.1 per cent, and investment by 6.9 per cent. The industrial sector will grow by 4.5 per cent, but agriculture by only 1.6 per cent because of continuing low prices of crops.