Specialty chemicals firm aims for stronger presence in Thailand
April 15, 2017 13:22 By The Nation
Lanxess, a specialty chemicals company, recently set up a company for greater penetration of the Thai market after doing business in the country for years. Lanxess’ core business is development, manufacturing and marketing of chemical intermediates, specialty chemicals and plastics.
Georges Barbey, managing director of Lanxess Asean, said the company aims to have a strong presence in Thailand, which it considers its biggest market in Asean. The company is currently represented in 25 countries and at 54 production sites worldwide.
“We have been in Thailand for many years and been selling our products to buyers who are agents for Lanxess. We have been selling more and more directly through our distribution network. We are now in the next stage of development, to provide better technical support and better services to our customer,” said Barbey.
He said Thailand is very important to Lanxess for two reasons:
The first one is the middle class in Thailand is growing quite well. And the second is, there is a transformation industry and “the Lanxess customer is from the transformation industry”. “The need for more materials for the transformation industry will grow only when the customers are growing,” he said.
“What we expect is stability, which is the key for economic growth. We trust Thailand will have a smooth transition next year. We think this will help the middle class to develop further, which will be beneficial to all small and medium-sized companies working in this country and these people are our customers. They are the ones who buy our products and that is the reason why Thailand, from that point of view, is the most advanced country in Asean.” said Barbey.
The company aims to bring many new products to Thai market.
“We are in specialty chemicals and it’s a business which grows on applications and Lanxess is serving a lot of those applications. In Thailand, what is important for us is the agro industry and everything to do with agriculture. Then also industry machine construction, cars – we have quite an important product in plastic for the car-making industry,” Barbey said.
The Lanxess joint venture with Saudi Aramco, Arlanxeo, is providing rubber and this rubber is made for tyres and for technical parts.
The company is worldwide the first producer of the product and tyre production is also important in Thailand, he said. “So, there is a big part of this rubber production coming to Thailand and re-exported in the form of technical parts,” he said.
“We have two ways to sell: direct sales to big customers, and sales through our distributors who are trained to be technically qualified,” said Barbey.
He said Thailand does not have a big enough market to handle production. “When there is big enough demand in the region, then we can consider research and development in Thailand,” he added.
“We totally support Thailand 4.0 that looks into the future. The key is that customers can transform its products easily with the road network and other available networks. So, customers can export products easily. This will help our customers to develop quickly,” said Barbey.