Thailand: Everything is rising

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Viboon SriprasertThe construction sector in Thailand is currently booming, which makes it appealing for foreign investors. Inside Investor spoke to a Thai industry expert about the opportunities in the market and his own experience with doing business with the Middle East.

Interviewee: Viboon Sriprasert, President, Wattana Engineering & Construction  (WEN) Holding, President of the Federation of Design & Construction Services of Thailand (Fedcon), and Ex-President of Thai Electrical & Mechanical Contractors Association (Temca)

The Thai construction industry is currently kept extraordinarily busy by the booming property market, industry expansions and government investments into infrastructure. Domestic companies, for example Italian-Thai Development, Ch. Karnchang or Sino-Thai Engineering & Construction, have a high share in this market, but there are also plenty of opportunities for foreign investors, says industry veteran Viboon Sriprasert, who is President of the Federation of Design & Construction Services of Thailand (Fedcon), was President of Thai Electrical & Mechanical Contractors Association (Temca), and who runs his own construction company WEN Holding.
“Opportunities are anywhere,” says Sriprasert. “Here in Thailand, investors have plenty of chances to make profit in the construction industry, as we have so many things to offer. Everything is rising.”
Besides the construction sector, he mentions that infrastructure projects such as high-speed trains, pipelines, expansion of seaports and airports, and others would be promising ventures. There are even landfill projects in the planning stage, where new land is created off Thailand’s coats and then sold, he says.
“If you want to see amazing projects, now you need to come to Asia,” Sriprasert says. “And it will be only in Asia where you will have the chance to make good profit in the sector.”
He recommends investors to visit the construction associations in Thailand and ask where to put money into good projects. “They will give them a list to choose from.”
Opportunities are also there for construction material suppliers, subcontractors, and engineering consultancies of any sorts. Building material such as cement, wood, tiles, rebar, and metal are mainly sourced from Thailand, but there is import demand for more sophisticated goods such as generators, air conditioning units, elevators, and the like.
“If you have good marketing here, you can sell everything, “ says Sriprasert.
His company, WEN Holding, was involved in the Thai property boom from a very early stage. They constructed one of the first high-rise condominiums in the 1980s together with Japanese and German companies during the first boom of the sector at that time. Later on, more and more companies rushed to the market, and currently there is no end of the property boom in sight.
In the meantime, WEN Holding looked over the border and started projects in the Middle East, mainly in Qatar, where it was constructing a residential tower and is part of the Sidra Hospital project in Doha as a subcontractor.
“There are excellent projects in the Middle East in terms of design and engineering,” Sriprasert says.
His company is currently looking for more projects in the Middle East and for partners to expand in the region. Besides Qatar, which he considers to be a promising market for construction, Sriprasert also eyes Bahrain, and Libya, where he is about to start a hotel project in Misrata after the situation in the country has stabilized.
However, he says that besides the unrest in the Middle East which had an adverse effect on business, some cultural differences between the Middle East and Asia have to be kept in mind. And there have also been some issues of delayed payments which have yet to be solved, he adds.
Regarding the Thai construction sector, he is not entirely convinced that the announced raise of the minimum wage is a positive thing for the market. “Frankly, I think this is crazy. I personally don’t mind to pay the minimum wage to my workers, and it may be good for the buying power in the country. But the government scares investors and manufacturers who are now thinking of relocating to other countries.”

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

The construction sector in Thailand is currently booming, which makes it appealing for foreign investors. Inside Investor spoke to a Thai industry expert about the opportunities in the market and his own experience with doing business with the Middle East.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Viboon SriprasertThe construction sector in Thailand is currently booming, which makes it appealing for foreign investors. Inside Investor spoke to a Thai industry expert about the opportunities in the market and his own experience with doing business with the Middle East.

Interviewee: Viboon Sriprasert, President, Wattana Engineering & Construction  (WEN) Holding, President of the Federation of Design & Construction Services of Thailand (Fedcon), and Ex-President of Thai Electrical & Mechanical Contractors Association (Temca)

The Thai construction industry is currently kept extraordinarily busy by the booming property market, industry expansions and government investments into infrastructure. Domestic companies, for example Italian-Thai Development, Ch. Karnchang or Sino-Thai Engineering & Construction, have a high share in this market, but there are also plenty of opportunities for foreign investors, says industry veteran Viboon Sriprasert, who is President of the Federation of Design & Construction Services of Thailand (Fedcon), was President of Thai Electrical & Mechanical Contractors Association (Temca), and who runs his own construction company WEN Holding.
“Opportunities are anywhere,” says Sriprasert. “Here in Thailand, investors have plenty of chances to make profit in the construction industry, as we have so many things to offer. Everything is rising.”
Besides the construction sector, he mentions that infrastructure projects such as high-speed trains, pipelines, expansion of seaports and airports, and others would be promising ventures. There are even landfill projects in the planning stage, where new land is created off Thailand’s coats and then sold, he says.
“If you want to see amazing projects, now you need to come to Asia,” Sriprasert says. “And it will be only in Asia where you will have the chance to make good profit in the sector.”
He recommends investors to visit the construction associations in Thailand and ask where to put money into good projects. “They will give them a list to choose from.”
Opportunities are also there for construction material suppliers, subcontractors, and engineering consultancies of any sorts. Building material such as cement, wood, tiles, rebar, and metal are mainly sourced from Thailand, but there is import demand for more sophisticated goods such as generators, air conditioning units, elevators, and the like.
“If you have good marketing here, you can sell everything, “ says Sriprasert.
His company, WEN Holding, was involved in the Thai property boom from a very early stage. They constructed one of the first high-rise condominiums in the 1980s together with Japanese and German companies during the first boom of the sector at that time. Later on, more and more companies rushed to the market, and currently there is no end of the property boom in sight.
In the meantime, WEN Holding looked over the border and started projects in the Middle East, mainly in Qatar, where it was constructing a residential tower and is part of the Sidra Hospital project in Doha as a subcontractor.
“There are excellent projects in the Middle East in terms of design and engineering,” Sriprasert says.
His company is currently looking for more projects in the Middle East and for partners to expand in the region. Besides Qatar, which he considers to be a promising market for construction, Sriprasert also eyes Bahrain, and Libya, where he is about to start a hotel project in Misrata after the situation in the country has stabilized.
However, he says that besides the unrest in the Middle East which had an adverse effect on business, some cultural differences between the Middle East and Asia have to be kept in mind. And there have also been some issues of delayed payments which have yet to be solved, he adds.
Regarding the Thai construction sector, he is not entirely convinced that the announced raise of the minimum wage is a positive thing for the market. “Frankly, I think this is crazy. I personally don’t mind to pay the minimum wage to my workers, and it may be good for the buying power in the country. But the government scares investors and manufacturers who are now thinking of relocating to other countries.”

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