A Singapore-based testing body, PSB Corporation, is spending Baht 30 million (€700,000) to make Thailand its Southeast Asian industrial testing laboratory centre, in a bid to increase food exports overseas.
According to a report in the Bangkok Post, the former Singaporean state enterprise, which was privatised last year, said that it plans to invest at least another Baht100 million in a second-phase for the project which relates to non-food products.
Located at the Thailand Science Park, Bangkok, and with 700 square metres of space, the laboratory facilities are part of the corporation's strategy to expand the testing and certification market into more promising food export-oriented countries, such as the US, Japan and Europe.
"The testing laboratory in Thailand represents the first expansion of our network outside Singapore," said Boby Kok Fal Sean, general manager of PSB Test (Thailand), a local operating unit which is wholly-owned by PSB.
The testing facilities are scheduled to open on 14 October.
Kok said PSB selected Thailand as its first market network because many of its leading companies were involved in producing several food commodities there.
He said the government's campaign to encourage the development of safety standards for specific foods and food manufacturing industries also offered huge potential for food testing services, and cheaper infrastructure costs.
Last year Thailand ranked as the world's fourth-largest exporter of frozen chicken, capturing a 6 per cent market share and enjoying 25 per cent annual growth. Thailand is also the world's top exporter of frozen shrimps with a 25 per cent share in the global market. Much of this produce is currently being exported to large-scale food processors in Europe.
"We are targeting at least 15 per cent business growth in line with the country's average growth in the testing services market," said Mr Kok.
"Given the company's 10 to 50 per cent cheaper rates in industrial testing service charges, compared to the rates offered in Singapore, we expect our revenue target would be successfully met."
The company is focusing on three business areas initially - electromagnetic compatibility, food and chemical products.