Some might think that the rural area in the north-eastern corner of Thailand is an odd place to locate your new production-site, but not if you ask Styromatic, which produces electronic devises like print circuits for the high-tech industry to clients all over the world.
Low wages, favourable tax-agreements and excellent infrastructural conditions makes the rather remote region outside the city of Udon Thani close to the Lao border an ideal spot for high-tech business, if you ask Styromatic.
About three years ago the Århus-based electronic manufacturing service company decided to open a production-site in Thailand and after some research on potential areas they found out, that the authorises of Thailand offer numerous advantages to companies, who settles in the distant areas of the country.
“To attract investment in the outskirts of the country, the board of investment has divided Thailand into different zones. Bangkok is in zone one and our city of Udon Thani lies in zone three. In our zone you pay less tax than in Bangkok, and here the foreign-owned companies have the right to own the land, so there is a great potential in investments out here” says Nuchanate Puenkhamhai, who is sale and marketing manager for Styromatic in Thailand. She doesn’t think, they being located away from the financial centre of Bangkok are a problem for the company.
“We have a great infrastructure with both airports and a good highways in this area, so even though there is a six hour drive to Bangkok it is not a problem for us to send the products out to our clients”, she adds.
The production of print circuit is very complex, and it takes both good eyes and dexterous fingers to handle the small components in the right matter. But it also takes great deal of technical knowledge to handle the high-tech electronic in the correct manner.
“It is a difficult job to make print circuits and it takes about a year before you can do it right, but even though the medias talk so much about brain drain in the remote areas we do not have problems to recruit up here” Nuchanate Puenkhamhai states.
In a time where a dramatic amount of enterprises has begun to reduce the number of employees, in order to survive the decreasing earnings, Styromatic still manages to keep the optimism on the financial perspectives. Actually they plan to increase their workforce by at least 100 percent in the next couple of years. So the renowned financial decline in the international economic situation does not seem to frighten the Account and finance manager of Styromatic in Thailand, Dungchan Plianthaiong. Actually Styromatic belives so much in the potential of the production-site and the marked for full turnkey electronic manufacturing service that they are building another (and even bigger) production hall next to the existing one.
“The crises have not affected us very much and the potential of our production has not reached its saturation point yet, so if everything goes according to our strategy the workforce have increased to 150 employees in two years from now”, she states.