Thai paint manufacturers prioritise the environment: PPCJ speaks to TPMA President Sarawut Rachanakul

31 July 2023

PPCJ spoke to Sarawut Rachanakul, President of the Thailand Paint Manufacturers Association (TPMA) and CEO of domestic paint and coating producer JBP International Paint Company Limited, about how urbanisation, the environment and regulations are shaping the Thai coatings industry  

Q. What is the current state of the Thai coatings industry?

A. Thailand has a thriving paints industry and is home to several major paint manufacturers.

The industry has experienced steady growth over the years, driven by factors such as urbanisation, infrastructure development and increasing consumer demand. The demand for paints is influenced by various sectors, including construction, automotive, industrial and decorative applications.

The paints industry in Thailand has also witnessed advancements in technology and product innovation. Manufacturers have been introducing environmentally friendly and sustainable paint solutions to meet the growing demand for eco-friendly products. This trend aligns with the global efforts towards greener and more sustainable practices.

Q. How is the Thai coatings market split in terms of sectors? 

A. The decorative market is the main sector in Thai coatings industry, as the scale of modern trade is expanding not only in the main cities but also in the suburbs of Thailand. There are many players who see opportunities in construction and renovation businesses that impact the variety of users from DIYs to project builders.


"The main trends of decorative paint, as well as some industrial paints, have been to develop eco-friendly and healthy products for users and the environment. Last year, the announcement of Thailand at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 and to achieve an economy with net-zero GHG emissions by or before 2065 strengthens the country’s commitment."Sarawut Rachanakul, President of the Thailand Paint Manufacturers Association (TPMA) and CEO of JBP International Paint

Q. Approximately how much of Thailand’s paint and coatings is produced for the domestic market and how much is for export?

A. In terms of the domestic situation, the demand for paint products in Thailand can be influenced by factors such as construction activities, real estate development, interior design trends and consumer preferences. As the Thai economy grows and urbanisation continues, there is generally a steady demand for paint products within the country.

Regarding the export situation, Thailand has been a significant exporter of paint products. The country has a well-established paint manufacturing industry and has been able to capture export markets in various regions. Factors contributing to Thailand’s export success in the paint industry include competitive pricing, quality products, favourable trade agreements and efficient logistics networks.

Q. How did the COVID pandemic affect the Thai coatings market and has it recovered?

A. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a significant influx of tourists coming to Thailand to travel or to conduct business activities. This has stimulated various sectors and boosted the revival of the tourism industry, particularly among Chinese tourists who have high purchasing power. The influx of tourists has also had a considerable impact on the real estate market, leading to substantial growth. Additionally, this has contributed to the growth of many businesses, including the paint market.

Post-COVID, the Chinese paint market has emerged as a significant player in Thailand, with a considerable presence. As a result, the paint market in Thailand has recovered quickly and shown a positive trend compared to previous years, with continuous improvement expected in the future.

Q. What are the main challenges and opportunities facing the Thai coatings industry at the moment?

 A. The factors that can contribute to growth in the paint industry in Thailand:

  • Economic development: A thriving economy with increased construction activities, infrastructure development and rising disposable incomes can drive the demand for paint products.
  • Construction and real estate: The growth of the construction and real estate sectors directly impacts the demand for paint, as new buildings, homes and infrastructure projects require coatings and finishes.
  • Urbanisation and population growth: Urbanisation trends, along with an expanding population, often lead to increased construction and renovation activities, driving the need for paint products.
  • Interior design and renovation trends: Changing consumer preferences, including interior design and renovation trends, can influence the demand for paint products as individuals seek to update or personalise their living or working spaces.
  • Environmental awareness: Growing environmental concerns have led to a rise in demand for eco-friendly, low-VOC (volatile organic compound) paints. Manufacturers focusing on sustainable and environmentally friendly paint options can tap into this market segment.
  • Technological advancements: Innovations in paint technology, such as new formulations, improved durability, enhanced coverage and application methods, can attract customers and drive market growth.


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Q. What are the main trends affecting the Thai coatings industry at the moment? 

A. Due to the regulation of Thai Government and main certified standards that are more environmentally focused, the main trends of decorative paint, as well as some industrial paints, have been to develop eco-friendly and healthy products for users and the environment. Last year, the announcement of Thailand at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 and to achieve an economy with net-zero GHG emissions by or before 2065 strengthens the country’s commitment. Moreover, paint containers and packaging from recycled materials could help to reduce the carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, the coating trends in Thailand now is focusing on the highest safety in all aspects for users, residents and environment.

Another priority will be the trends on the use of clean and renewable energy resources on production sites such as solar energy and also developing coating performance to reduce energy consumption.

Q. How is the topic of sustainability affecting coatings manufacturers in Thailand?

A. Most of the industries in Thailand are now concerned about sustainability trends. Now the main players are promoting use of natural resources in order to achieve environmental sustainability. Many manufacturers are setting goals towards realisation of carbon neutrality, use of renewable energy and to minimise carbon footprint, even though, it is tough to begin and comply with the new coming regulations on the coatings industry in Thailand.

In terms of the scope of the paint industry in Asia, I think sustainability also plays a big part to drive innovations and achieve sustainable technologies. However, since paints are considered as a chemical product, some raw materials are considered in the list of hazard class that are inevitable to use.  This certainly has an effect on manufacturers to take more awareness to manage the raw materials.

Q. Is AI and Big Data an important topic for coatings manufacturers in Thailand?

A. The improvement of AI or Big Data solutions for manufacturers in Thailand are still challenging. Most paint manufacturers focus on automation systems due to the effects of raising the minimum wage. Plus, the benefits of automated system are good for increasing cost efficiency, reduce errors and optimise production process. Changes in production process by integrating AI or highly automated solutions would be an opportunity to enhance the paint manufacturing industry and to make a new page of innovation.

Q. What do you think the next five-10 years will look like for Thailand’s coatings industry? Do you think output will grow and what trends do you think will be important?

A. As the paint industry is involved with chemical regulations, we can further enhance sustainable raw materials and implement to a global scale. The product outputs will be gradually converted from solvent-based to water-based to avoid and reduce toxic chemicals in coating products. Paint consumption in all sectors will be concerned more with product safety and follow the regulatory standards, especially for DIY users interested in harmless products in terms of green and organic coatings.

Another significant coating development topic will be to shorten the painting process and become more friendly for all users in order to reduce the labour cost and waste of painting tools.

In conclusion, consumer demands and policymakers will drive manufacturers to adapt to more sustainable production models.

The Asia Pacific Coatings Show takes place in Bangkok, Thailand, this September 6-8, where JBP International will be speaking at the conference. Find out more here:


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