State backs makers of devices for elderly
Second effort pushes child car seats
The Finance Ministry is seeking ways to reduce the production cost for local manufacturers of medical equipment and devices for the elderly, says Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith.
Mr Arkhom said it is important to support the local production of equipment such as wheelchairs and in-car wheelchair lifts, making them affordable as Thailand becomes an ageing society.
In June the cabinet approved the ministry's proposal to eliminate the import tariff for car seat cushions for young children for one year, ending December 2023.
The proposal is meant to ease the cost of living and support the government's measure requiring children under age six to be restrained in a car seat or special safety seat in a moving vehicle. The measure takes effect on Sept 4.
According to a Customs Department survey, most child car seats in Thailand are imported and the nation has few child car seat manufacturers.
According to the Federation of Thai Industries, Thailand has the potential to produce the car seats, but in the past demand was not high enough to motivate massive investment in production.
The year 2019 marked the first time the number of people aged 60 and above surpassed that of young children in Thailand. The Thai population has expanded at a slow pace recently of 0.5% per year. The average life expectancy of Thais has risen to 76, with males at 73 and females 81. The elderly are estimated to reach 20% of the total population next year, before rising to 28% in 2034.