The economies of Malaysia and Thailand are driven by exports, but each has different economic challenges.

The global economic recession had a strong impact on Thailand's export industry, with most sectors experiencing losses in the double-digits, according to the CIA World Factbook. Some of Thailand's exports include electronics, textiles, fishery products, rice, rubber and computer and automobile parts. Its largest export partners are China (11.7 percent), Japan (10.2 percent) and the United States (9.9 percent).

With a 2013 GDP of $400.9 billion, some of Thailand's industries include tourism, garments, manufacturing, rubber, plastics, electronic appliances and computer parts. It is the world's second-largest producer of tungsten and the third-largest producer of tin.



Malaysia is attempting to reduce its dependence on exports, particularly from electronics, oil, gas, palm oil and rubber. The oil and gas industries supplied 32 percent of government revenue in 2013, according to the CIA World Factbook.

With a 2013 GDP of $312.4 billion, major industries include light manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, timber processing, logging, and natural gas production. Its major export partners are Singapore (13.6 percent), China (12.6 percent) and Japan (11.8 percent).

Crain's World Watch Monthly report showcases companies that are leaders in global markets and those that are expanding.

Each World Watch features a different country. If you know of a Michigan company that exports, manufactures abroad or has facilities abroad, email Jennette Smith, managing editor, at [email protected].

Customers: Proton, Perodua, APM Automotive, OYL Manufacturing, Modenas, Toyota, Honda, Thai Summit Auto Parts, Summit Auto Body, Nissan, Bosch, Lear, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Sobida, Astra, Komatsu Indonesia, Defence Science and Technology, Seagate Technology, Molex Singapore

Customers: Ford, General Motors, Hino Motors, Honda, Isuzu, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Tata, Auto Alliance Co.

Malaysian operations: Application performance management, sales and field technical support in Kuala Lumpur

Thailand operations: Head office for Dow Chemical Thailand and SCG-Dow Group in Bangkok, 12 plants in Rayong province

Malaysia operations: Head office in Petaling Jaya, subsidiary of Dow Chemical Co., Dow AgroSciences LLC office in Petaling Jaya and Tawau, technical lab at Shah Alam and a technical service center in Penang

Thailand products: Performance materials, performance plastics, advanced materials, agricultural science, microbials, functional materials, water process and solution

Thailand top executive: Jirasak Singmaneechai, managing director of Dow Chemical Thailand and SCG-Dow Group

Customers: First Solar Malaysia, Thong Guan Plastics & Paper, Klang Hock Plastic, Jotun Malaysia, Scientex Berhad, Syarikat Carto, Ibiden Electronics Malaysia, Nippon Paint Malaysia

Products: A range of vehicles under the Chevrolet nameplate including Sonic, Spin, Cruze, Captiva, Colorado and Trailblazer

Thailand operations: Manufacturing plant in Chonburi. Sales and marketing company, La-Z-Boy Asia, is headquartered in Bangkok.

Customers: G&G of South Korea, Blims Fine Furniture, PT. Chandra Asri Petrochemical Tbk, Harvey Norman Singapore

Thailand operations: Manufacturing in Bangkok, Mueang Nakhon Ratchasima, Rayong, Samut Prakarn and Kabin Buri

Clients: F.J. Benjamin Holdings, Nike, Triumph, Ralph Lauren, Burberry, Warnaco Malaysia Sdn Bhd, Estee Lauder, PERNAMA

Thailand operations: Office in the Klong Toey District of Bangkok, plant in Panthong District of Chonburi, plant in Pluak Daeng District of Rayong

Products: Pump and module systems, fuel tank systems, fluid carrying systems, brake lines, fuel lines and tank top lines

Top executives: Simon Velvin, executive managing director of Asia Pacific; Olivier Van Boxlaer, plant manager; John Zhang, plant manager

Thailand operations: Facility in Rayong for subsidiary Lamons. Facility in Conburi for subsidiary Cequent APEA (Asia, Pacific, Europe and Africa)

Products: Metallic and non-metallic gaskets, bolts, industrial fasteners, specialty products, custom-engineered towbars, hitches, roof rack and cargo management products, towing accessories, tubular side steps

Top executive: Dave Wathen, president and CEO, TriMas; Kurt Allen, president, Lamons; Carl Bizon, president, Cequent APEA

Thailand operations: Two manufacturing plants in the Pluak Daeng District and aftermarket office in Bangkok.

Malaysian operations: Aftermarket manufacturing/fulfillment in Johor, braking and suspension manufacturing in Senai, manufacturing in Senai and Rawang, engineering office in Senai, aftermarket and brake systems office in Rawang and global information services and data centers in Shah Alam

Malaysia products: Display units, window lifter and mirror switches, alarm systems, clocks, buzzer and distribution switches, multifunction timers, brakes, suspension and chassis systems, tie rods, ball joints, stabilizer link, tie rods, toe rod ends, suspension ball joints, others

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