The printing industry in Thailand is essential for other industries such as packaging, media and textiles. Manufacturers are now offering a wider range of products that can be made at a lower price but to a higher quality, thanks to recent innovations.

Kasikorn Bank has estimated that the country’s printing industry is worth over 200 billion baht, (US$9.6 billion) with over 60% of this in packaging printing, which has seen steady growth in recent years.

Prapaporn Narongrit, President of the Thai Screen Printing and Graphic Imaging Association (TSGA) believes that innovation is key in the printing industry, as it enables the production of new and unique products.

“Manufacturers have many techniques to choose from now. For example, the fabric printing industry has adopted sublimation hybrid printing systems which allow manufacturers to use heat in order to transfer dye onto materials, from plastic, paper, to fabric, and retain a high-quality end product that requires minimal time,” she says.

“Moreover, the book printing and packing industry has been exploring innovative techniques that allow for beautifully printed designs while making the printing process more environmentally-friendly, and decreasing the need for a large workforce.”

Narongrit adds that the fashion industry has also been using digital printers to speed up the printing process, while the advertising and design industries are adopting 3D printing at a rapid pace.

The TSGA president views the strength of the printing industry in Thailand as its ability to combine screen and digital printing in order to create new innovations that are also practical.

“Thailand has skilled workers who are highly creative, thus producing new pieces of award-worthy products to the world. Recently, the TSGA submitted products manufactured by its members to compete for awards in Europe and Asia, with many taking home the top prize,” Narongrit says.

The TSGA joined STYLE 2018, organised by the Department of International Trade Promotion, to showcase those printing products that had won international awards. Narongrit says that visitors expressed great interest in the innovative printing products and solutions.

However, with the shifting economy across the world, she believes business owners, including those in the printing industry, have to adapt themselves.

“I think businesses must become more connected to networks and trade partners, while opening up to new opportunities,” she says. “With this changing landscape, we need to understand what is happening in the industry and amongst our consumers.”

To catch up with the latest innovation in printing and other industries, visit STYLE Bangkok, DITP’s trade fair from April 17 to 21, 2019 at BITEC Bang Na.

Words by Pimsirinuch Borsub