Over the last decade we have witnessed a large influx of multinational companies opening offices in Thailand along with increasing numbers of smaller, independent businesses. Thailand is indeed one of the best countries in Asia to start a business thanks, in no small part to its geographic location and abundance of natural resources.
Rice is the main export but the country also has a booming tourist, textile and jewellery industry
with 60% of the country’s GDP coming in the form of exports. This is an illustration of the countries
strength in the region but also gives an excellent indication about what can be expected in
There are many reasons why you should consider starting a business in Thailand, but below are 5 key points.
1. Thailand’s Economy
Thailand’s economy has experienced steady growth at a time when other countries in the region have stuttered. Growth in 2016 was 3.2%, up from 2.9% the previous year. The country is rich in natural resources and labour costs are relatively cheap compared to other, more developed countries in Asia. The countries infrastructure is constantly improving with high-speed rail links planned, improvements at international airports and a well-established highway network.
In addition, the country has six deep water ports, stable and reliable communication such as 4G and WiFi nationwide and a superb mass transit system in Bangkok. Government spending on infrastructure is ongoing which facilitates both domestic and international trade.
2. Fiscal Policy
Thailand’s fiscal policy is clear and well-defined, encouraging free trade and overall general liberalisation. The government is keen to encourage foreign investment in Thailand and there are several incentives in place, with focus on businesses that help develop technology and innovation, thus enhancing the overall skill set of the nation.
In 2016, Thailand was ranked 49th in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business report, making it the second ranked emerging economy in Southeast Asia. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, ranked Thailand as 8th most attractive economy in 2014-2016.
3. Government Incentives
The Thailand Board of Investment (BOI), offers international investors connected with certain industries a range of tax incentives and support services. Businesses qualifying for BOI status are not subject to foreign equity restrictions and laws governing the employment of Thailand nationals per work permit are also relaxed.
As well as BOI incentives, the Department of Export Promotion and international Chamber of Commerce also offer new businesses support and assistance.
4. High Ranking
Thailand is highly ranked with the international organisations mentioned above in addition to Bloomberg News asking Multinational Companies to select the most promising emerging nations to invest – Thailand ranked 11th. Government approval is not required for businesses to invest in the Kingdom unless they are requesting BOI incentives.
Thailand is often viewed as the ‘Gateway to Asia’, the largest growing economic market in the world. Trade within ASEAN, China and India is straightforward and the dynamic population of some 68 million provides a strong domestic market in addition to the international benefits. In terms of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), Thailand was a major beneficiary and this has further strengthened the country’s position on the world stage.