Published on 02/06/2014
Private sector sees stability The immediate tackling of economic problems by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) is making private companies feel more confident about launching products in the second half of this year. Kriengkrai Karnjanapokin, co-chief executive of Index Creative Village Plc, the countryâ€™s largest events organiser, said the speedy move by the NCPO to push for economic measures is very positive in the eyes of private companies, which expect to see stable conditions at least for the next year under the military government.
If the political tensions between pro- and anti-government factions had been allowed to continue with possible violence, private companies would have had to cut their marketing budgets and have no more activities. "The coup is stabilising the country and bringing an end to the political deadlock. It is providing a clearer picture for many businesses and we feel more confident to move on," said Mr Kriengkrai. Moreover, the decision by the NCPO to press on with essential economic policies, especially clearing overdue debts to rice farmers, will help increase liquidity. So far, more than 400,000 of the 850,000 farmers under the ricepledging scheme have been paid and this will boost the purchasing power of grassroots consumers. As a result, many private companies are now ready launch marketing campaigns and new products. Mr Kriengkrai said if many infrastructure projects in the 2-trillion-baht plan get the go-ahead, this will strengthen the confidence of both local and foreign enterprises as the economy will grow. "We can expect to see plenty of vibrant marketing campaigns in the second half, particularly in the fourth quarter. People are more confident about spending as well," he said. During the first four months, private companies were cautious about their marketing budgets as they took a wait-and-see approach during the economic slowdown and political turmoil. They just invested in seasonal campaigns during the long Songkran celebrations. The shortened curfew from 12am-4am will allow companies to organise general and promotional events. Mr Kriengkrai said brands should take advantage of the more stable political situation to drive sales. The coming Fifa World Cup from June 12-July 13 will create a friendly market environment for products and brands. Major events organisers predict that the industry will experience flat growth this year from a drop of 15-20% forecast earlier.