Yanyong Phuangrach, the secretary of the Commerce Industry, said at the “Thailand Economic Profile, AEC Adaptation and Housing Development Direction” seminar, that home-building companies and related services need to increase their standards if they are going to meet the requirements of the Asean Economic Community. The AEC will give more business opportunities to this market, so attempting to meet its requirements is quite desirable.
The Asean Economic Community does not take complete effect until 2015 and will open up the entire region to the home-building business. This will aid all related businesses as well, including construction material suppliers, engineers, architects, contractors, and more.
The former president of the Association of Siamese Architects, Taweejit Chandrasakha, agreed with this assessment, adding that they will need to learn the rules and international standards when they choose to expand into member countries of the AEC.
Each company will be required to study each AEC country’s building rules and have concern about product quality for the protection of the people that will be using those buildings. In order to ensure safety standards, all steps of the design and construction process will be studied by a variety of experts. Companies that don’t adjust their systems in order to meet these standards will not benefit from AEC, and will face major competition from companies that do – not just domestic housing companies and related services, but those from all over the Asean.
Positive and Negative Aspects
The AEC will provide positives and negatives to the construction business, with the most obvious benefit being that the market for construction will be increased beyond Thailand’s borders and make for a greater number of business opportunities. It will mean that companies will have to work very, very hard to remain competitive and those that don’t put in the effort to remain at the head of the pack will not survive. These rules will also serve to expose companies that do not put safety as their number one concern.
The president of the Home Builder Association, Dr. Patchara Tantayanyong, said that all of this will also have an impact on her sector. The expanding ofthe residential industry also involves the home-building market, and while small companies face issues surrounding service, quality, and design, these standards will be facing a major revamp this year. Changes are incoming, for better or for worse (presumably for the better).
The industry’s expansion relies on keeping consumers confident in their local home-builder’s quality of service and reliability. It is hoped that the change in building standards will help maintain or improve consumer confidence, and prepare these smaller companies for the up-and-coming AEC.
Bangkok’s home-building market was worth an impressive 55 billion baht last year, with companies of the Home Builder Association making up about 20 percent of this market. Independent companies make up the remainder of the home-building market. The impact of the AEC on these small companies has yet to be seen, but if they choose to keep up with building requirements, they should be able to remain competitive.