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Thailand

(Kingdom of Thailand)

Thailand has long been a popular destination for foreign business, and continues to attract high levels of foreign investment.

A medium sized country, the size of its population is about the same as the UK and it boasts a highly diversified mixed economy, which offers both a growing consumer market as well as opportunities for sourcing and investment.

However, while Thai society is generally open and welcoming to foreigners, regulations relating to foreign business are often less open than other countries in the region. Aside from restrictive policies on foreign business ownership, this includes high barriers to market entry, both in terms of import taxes and in access to the distribution system.

Economy

Recently reclassified as an upper middle income country by the World Bank, the country enjoys low levels of inflation and public debt, but also continues to suffer from severe inequalities in income distribution and education, which present significant challenges to the economy and political system.

Government

Thailand, formerly known as Siam, is Southeast Asia’s oldest democracy. It has a long history of military coups and political instability which continue to be a major concern to Thais and foreigners alike, yet surprisingly this generally has little impact on business. Even extreme events such as the 2010 riots had minimal impact on the overall economy generally only affecting the retail and tourism businesses, as well as the operations of firms located in the centre of Bangkok.

The country is a constitutional monarchy, headed by King Rama IX, the ninth king of the House of Chakri, who, having reigned since 1946, is the world’s longest-serving head of state and the longest-reigning monarch in Thai history.

Geography

Thailand is located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the west by the Andaman Sea and the southern extremity of Burma. Its maritime boundaries include Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand to the southeast, and Indonesia and India in the Andaman Sea to the southwest.

 

Population: c. 66,720,200  
Capital City: Bangkok
Government: Constitutional Monarchy, Multi-party Democracy
State Languages: Thai (official), Lao, Dialects
GDP per capita (PPP): $8,700 USD
Growth Rate: 4%-8% p.a. (est.)

 

External Links

  • Thai Board of Investment (BOI). BOI is the principal government agency for encouraging investment. Useful to assist you in numerous ways, including: enhancing competitiveness, investment facilitation and business support services
  • Thai Stocks Investment Resource. Useful and interesting website to be update on business start up, law and regulations, Thai stocks and industry news.

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