Thai businesses need to view the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as an “extended domestic market” in order to maintain sustainable growth, according to Thai commercial experts.

At a conference held in Bangkok recently, Thai Commercial Counselor in the Myanmar city of Yangon, Prajuab Supinee, said that both income and purchasing power of ASEAN consumers have been increasing in recent years.

Thai companies and businesses should attach more importance to product quality and create products which are different from Chinese products, he said.

Manager of the Thai Commercial Centre in Ho Chi Minh City , Pranomsri Sormkunngoen, also said Thai exports to Vietnamese and ASEAN markets showed prospects for acceleration.

Evaluating the Vietnamese market, he said that although high inflation reduces Vietnam’s consumption, the income of the country’s consumers is still increasing and they are interested in good-quality products with competitive prices.

Therefore, Thai businesses need to plan to invest in Vietnam to avoid non-tariff barriers, he said.

According to Pranomsri, fields with potential for development in Vietnam are food and agricultural product processing, manufacturing industries and retail markets./.