Thailand is a popular holiday and shopping destination known for its exciting coastline, exotic scenes, bustling market places and mystical Buddhist temples and shrines. The country had been known for long as the world's number one exporter of rice, until it recently fell behind Vietnam and India. Aside from rice, Thailand is also the World's largest Rubber exporter and World’s third-largest exporter of seafood, mainly shrimp.
Its prime location in South East Asia, neighboured by Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia and the Gulf of Thailand places the nation in a highly approachable and strategic spot. After Indonesia, Thailand is the second largest economy of any South East Asia country. Thailand shares maritime boundaries with Vietnam, Indonesia and India.
Thailand is spread over 53,120 square kilometres with a population of 68 million who are mostly Tai in ethnicity. Bangkok holds a majority of Thailand’s political, business, cultural and industrial sectors and is its capital.
Thailand’s vital data points (as of 2016)
|GDP (billion USD)||406|
|GDP per capita (USD)||5,908|
|GDP per capita PPP (USD)||16,917|
|Purchasing power per dollar, compared to the USA||264%|
|Surface area (sq km)||513,120|
|% of population living in urban areas||49%|
|% of GDP added by agriculture - industry - services||12% - 42% - 46%|
|Ease of doing business index (1 = best, 180 = lowest)||68|
What is Thailand’s business index?
According to a recent study conducted by the World Bank, Thailand’s business scenario has improved considerably since 2013 and has been rated the second most promising economy in East Asia. It is also a major export destination.
What are Thailand’s most productive business sectors?
- Textiles and garments
- Agricultural processing
- Light manufacturing - jewellery, electrical appliances
What are Thailand’s top export commodities?
- Agricultural produce
- Automobiles and parts
- Computers and parts
- Jewellery and precious stones
- Polymers of ethylene in primary form
- Refined fuels
- Electronic integrated circuits
- Chemical products
Thailand’s political reforms
A recent coup in May 2014 has seen some interesting political activity in the country. Thailand’s rule changed from a constitutional monarchy to a military driven one with the National Council For Peace and Order taking over all national administration. The people believe this move to be a positive step towards liberating the country from the jaws of populist authoritarianism.
In September 2015 a junta-backed council raised their voices against a new constitution which may result in the next elections occurring only in 2017.
The ASEAN economic community
Thailand is one of the ten Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries, aimed at creating a single market and production base, which enables the free flow of goods, investments, labour and capital within the community. The ASEAN Economic Community has the potential to emerge as one of the largest transactional markets in the world.
Thai national holidays 2016
|New Year’s Day||January 1|
|Makha Bucha||February 22|
|Chakri Day||April 6|
|Songkran||April 13, 14, 15|
|Labour Day||May 1|
|Labour Day observed||May 2|
|Coronation Day||May 5, 6|
|Visakha Bucha||May 20|
|Mid-Year Bank Holiday||July 1|
|Extra Holiday||July 18|
|Asalaha Bucha||July 19|
|The Queen’s Birthday||April 12|
|Mother’s Day||August 12|
|Chulalongkorn Day||October 23|
|Chulalongkom Day observed||October 24|
|New Year’s Eve||December 31|
Thailand’s promising side
Due to Thailand’s reputation as a hospitable business and travel locale, it hosts numerous trade shows, especially in the machinery, garment, and automobile industries.
Though Thailand is troubled with political and social issues, its local industry continues to expand. As it relentlessly transforms its economy from an agricultural to a modern industrial one, it continues to act as a favoured production base for many companies.
Modern, innovative Thailand is a hotspot for foreign investment while the tourism industry is growing each year. As the banking and infrastructure sectors in Thailand evolve in a steady manner, Alliance Experts researched a good business strategy since Bangkok is emerging as a strong contender as a top business and trade destination.