Thailand is the second largest economy in Southeast Asia. Resilient with strong growth fundamentals, the Thai economy has reported inflation rates of under 5% for most of the last decade. Its well-developed transportation system, infrastructure and communications network support many growth sectors such as tourism, food manufacturing and the automotive industry.
According to the World Bank, Thailand’s GDP is forecast to grow by 3.8% in 2019. Exports account for nearly two-thirds of the country’s GDP and this is due largely to their strategic location in Indochina. With a large population of 68 million, rising consumer economy, as well as a qualified and skilled workforce, Thailand is an ideal destination for Singapore firms.
Exports and tourism are the main drivers of Thailand’s growth. The tourism sector grew by 7.5% in 2018 while exports saw a 7.2% growth. Its key exports are automotive and electronic goods, as well as agricultural products such as rice, rubber, sugar and tapioca.
The Board of Investment of Thailand (BOI) offers generous tax and non-tax incentives under the 2018 Investment Law. Incentives for foreign direct investments will focus on research and development, innovation and high value-creating investment that enhances national competitiveness. Development in geographical areas such as the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), special economic zones (SEZ), provinces with the lowest per capita income and industrial estates will be supported.
Centrally located in Indochina (encompassing the CLMV countries of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam), Thailand has historically played a leading role in this region. Capitalising on their close geographical proximity, businesses in Thailand and CLMV countries are very closely integrated together. In 2017, Thailand proposed a masterplan to boost trade and investment collaboration with CLMV countries. This includes improving infrastructure development to link the region’s logistics network1.
By bringing your business to Thailand, your customer base can potentially become larger than the country’s population of 69 million and extend to the 230 million in the CLMV markets.
1 “Thailand to develop master plan for closer ties with CLMV”, The Nation, 19 June 2017