Japanese giants set up Thai unit on rising demand

Japanese giants set up Thai unit on rising demand

Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Systems Corporation (TMEIC), a producer of industrial motors and solar power inverters, has set up a subsidiary in Thailand, eyeing US$20 million in revenue by 2017.

TMEIC was founded in 2003 as a joint venture between major Japanese industrial conglomerates Toshiba and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation. It now has business in 10 countries including the USA, India and China.

President and chief executive Kiyotaka Machida said TMEIC set up its headquarters in Singapore and a subsidiary in Indonesia last year after seeing the strong potential of the manufacturing sector in Asean.

TMEIC Asia (Thailand), a subsidiary of the TMEIC Asia group, was established this month with registered capital of 100 million baht to lend better support to local customers and expand the customer base, he said.

"Thailand is one of the major production bases in Asean, so the company wants to settle the business here to be able to handle rising demand," said Mr Machida.

He said the integration of the Asean Economic Community had also encouraged the company to focus more on expanding investment in the region.

Mr Mashida said low demand had forced the global manufacturing sector to cut operating costs and production capacity in recent years to survive in a gloomy economy.

However, the company has switched to scaling up its production capacity to tap rising demand amid the recovering regional economy.

"Slow growth in the manufacturing sector does not occur only in Thailand but also in the whole world. We have to change our focus to improve our clients' efficiency and cut their operating costs," Mr Mashida said.

Stefano Poli, president and managing director of TMEIC Asia, said the company will focus on high-efficiency solar inverters that are required by high-capacity solar farms.

He said demand for solar power generation was expected to grow substantially in Thailand as a result of the government's policy to rely more on renewable energy.

"Even though there are some glitches in developing solar projects in Thailand, the direction of Thai energy development is still clearer compared to other countries in the region," said Mr Poli.

He said the company had already found customers in Thailand after recently establishing a subsidiary that would support its expansion.

"The Thai economy had gone through many changes, both political and economic, but I strongly believe the economy is still resilient to those changes. We have a very strong production base here in Thailand and also the most advanced industrial base in Asean," said Mr Poli.

TMEIC Asia expects its Thai subsidiary will contribute around $20 million of revenue to the company's target revenue of $100 million in 2017, he said.

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