With its multilateral society, diverse people and demands, Australia is considered one of the most promising markets for Thai entrepreneurs to explore, says Wanasri Jotikabukkana, Consul (Commercial) and Director of Thai Trade Center, Sydney, Australia.
A variety of Thai products could win over Australian consumers, in particular products that serve the Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) economy, are environmentally friendly, and organic.
“Australian consumers have had a keen awareness of BCG products and organic food for a long time,” Jotikabukkana says. “Thai entrepreneurs could take advantage of Thailand’s BCG economy model to penetrate the market.”
More than 30 Thai businesses exhibited BCG products at the Naturally Good Expo 2022, Australia’s largest exhibition for health products held in Sydney. Thailand’s pop-up pavilion made from recycled cartons and corrugated cardboard under the theme ‘Rice, Heart of Thailand, Heart of APEC’ proved particularly popular with visitors.
The Thai Trade Center Australia presented innovative rice products from Thailand incorporating the BCG economy model. It also organised business matching online to facilitate both Thai and Australian traders.
Jotikabukkana also suggests Thai food – especially organic –, such as Rice Berry rice, baby food, instant rice, rice bran oil, as well as healthcare products such as cosmetics, facial and body treatment, soap and massage oil, hold great promise.
To promote Thai lifestyle products that align with the BCG model, the Thai Trade Center also published the article ‘Six Contemporary Lifestyle Brands That Are Turning Trash Into Treasure’ in Concrete Playground, a leading online lifestyle media in Australia and New Zealand. Those products include pineapple yarn, eggcups made of eggshells, water hyacinth pillows, and rubber tyres made into reusable bags.
Thai products such as sweet sticky rice with mango, sticky rice with durian, pineapple, pomelo and coconut were presented at the Thailand Grand Festival. While hemp exports to Australia could open up following new regulations, Jotikabukkana advises Thai businesses to study carefully the regulations.
Although Australia is facing fuel hikes and a rise in inflation, the government plans to increase the minimum wage to combat rising prices. Thus, the market should continue to have purchasing power and a demand for imports, says Jotikabukkana.
To better penetrate the market, Jotikabukkana recommends Thai entrepreneurs study import rules, customs regulations and measures. Organic products should be certified, and environmentally friendly or recycled packaging used, as the market is focused on standards.
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Words by Petchanet Pratruangkrai
Photo courtesy of DITP’s Overseas Office in Sydney, Australia