Medical, beauty sectors picked to surge
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Medical, beauty sectors picked to surge

The medical services and beauty sectors have the brightest prospects for 2023, driven by social media and an ageing society focused more on health and tourism, according to a recent survey by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC).

Tanning, printing of journals and newspapers, printed media delivery, and printing houses are sunset sectors based on the survey.

Vachira Kunthawethep, director of the Institute of Trade Strategies under the UTCC, said the survey is based on sales, production costs, net profit, impact from risk factors and the competitive environment, demand and support factors such as the easing of the pandemic, vaccination coverage, tourism recovery, government support policies and the general election scheduled for next year.

"We expect the growing number of elderly will help drive demand for medical services, while Thais have always been fond of beauty and skincare products," said Mr Vachira.

He said the health and wellness business is expected to see a full recovery, as Thailand has 59 qualified hospitals accredited by the Joint Commission International.

More importantly, the cost of living and medical expenses in Thailand are considered relatively low compared with rival countries in the region, leading Thailand to generate more income from medical tourism, said Mr Vachira.

He said the number of medical tourists worldwide is expected to rebound next year thanks to the reopening of many countries.

Mr Vachira said e-commerce prospects remain bright next year as consumers have reduced their spending at physical stores such as convenience stores, malls and supermarkets, through various payment channels.

Online shopping costs are also much lower than those of physical shops, making goods sold online cheaper, he said.

Mr Vachira said a growing number of e-commerce operators offer greater choices for customers to buy, while more urbanised areas and the growth of the middle class have triggered higher demand for consumer products.

In addition, he said product reviews by celebrities, famous influencers and actors/actresses have spurred online shopping.

Thanavath Phonvichai, the UTCC president, said although 2023 remains a challenging year, with a spate of risks such as a weak global economy, the Russia-Ukraine war and Covid outbreaks, businesses related to entertainment, luxury and tourism are expected to recover.

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