China-based Midea Group to build air conditioning factory in Thailand
BANGKOK, NNA – Chinese appliance maker Midea Group plans to build an air conditioner factory this year in Thailand for an undisclosed amount, a source familiar with the matter told NNA.
Construction of the plant will start as soon as the spread of coronavirus slows in Thailand and Midea Group aims to begin production next year, the source said in a recent interview with NNA. The factory would make two million air conditioners per year at first, mostly for export to places such as the United States, the source added.
Midea Group’s apparent plans come amid Sino-U.S. trade tensions, which have sent some China-based manufacturers to third countries where they can avoid paying higher U.S. tariffs.
Thailand in turn is trying to attract foreign investment in the country’s eastern provinces of Chonburi, Rayong, and Chachoengsao, together called the Eastern Economic Corridor.
In January, Frasers Property (Thailand) Public Co. announced that it had completed a sales agreement with Midea Group subsidiary Midea Refrigeration Equipment (Thailand) Co. for 130 rai (20.8 hectare) of land in Chonburi province, according to the real estate company.
The land would be developed into Midea Group’s largest home appliance manufacturing hub outside China, as well as their largest “intelligent” technology plant beyond the mainland, according to the source.
Midea Group, founded in 1968 in southern coastal Chinese province of Guangdong, entered the home appliance business in the 1980s and bought the home electronics appliance business of Japan-based Toshiba Corp. in 2016. The company also manufactures in Brazil, Egypt, India and Vietnam.