Another industry that has benefited from rising production costs in China is the PVC wood-plastic composite (WPC) industry. The report of Asta Eder Composites Consulting in Austria predicts that by 2015, the start-up WPC industry in Southeast Asia will grow by 10% annually and the output will reach 55,000 tons.
Compared with China's production capacity of 1 million tons, Southeast Asia's production capacity is relatively small, although its export share is larger than China's. From 2008 to 2011, WPC production in Southeast Asia increased to 34,000 tons, so it is expected that there will be opportunities for further growth. The Asian WPC industry is mainly for door and window frames, interior siding, side panels and pallets, while in the United States WPC is used to lay panels. Despite the diverse economies of ASEAN, for example, from Singapore, one of the world's countries with high per capita GDP to Malaysia, which has a much lower income, it is expected that the market will merge by 2015. By then, structural innovations, new technologies, high-quality products and services, and innovative processes will enhance the strength of the plastics and rubber industry in the region.
As China's production costs rise and competitiveness declines, the ASEAN Economic Community will bring new investment opportunities to the plastics and rubber industry. The automotive, packaging, medical and bioplastics sectors have emerged in ASEAN, injecting new impetus into the global rubber and plastics industry.