Thailand has so much to offer to those looking for business opportunities both within Thailand and throughout Asia. Over the years, it has maintainer welcoming environment for foreign trade and investment. The current government has recently reaffirmed its strong support to the trade and investment communities by reducing trade and investment barriers while also further enhancing the country’s business and investment climate.
With Asia currently displaying unmatched market growth, trade and business opportunities in Thailand promise big rewards. Asian giants China and India are now reversing the global power balance and changing the patterns of international trade and business By 2020, it is projected that Asia will comprise almost half of the world’s economy.
Thailand’s strategic location in Southeast Asia, being the gateway to Indochina and given its pivotal role in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), offers significant opportunities for trade and investment. Southeast Asia is already home to more than 570 million consumers – a huge market that is expected to gain even more strength when the ASEAN vision of One Community materializes in 2015. Economically, ASEAN is envisioned as a community of connec- tivity, a single market and production base, making ASEAN a more dynamic and stronger segment of the global supply chain.
Thailand’s convenient access to the giant markets of China and India, as well as to other East Asian countries such as the Republic of Korea and Japan, brings this huge consumer market to even bigger proportions. In addition, Thailand’s friendly relations and expanding free trade agreements with other countries further open up trade access to three billion consumers.
In order to optimally utilise its free trade agree- ments with other economies, Thailand is currently improving the efficiency of interna- tional and border trade by introducing electronic systems, particularly for one-stop-service centres, one-lane service, joint single inspection points, e-commerce and e-logistics systems. Additionally, it will seek to improve and accelerate the tariff appeals process.
Thailand’s infrastructure is being continually developed to world-class standards in order to support the growth and development of key economic sectors. Modern industrial estates, communication facilities, and logistics systems help achieve cost-efficient business operations.
For long-term development and competitiveness, the current administration has also expressed intention to further improve the national infrastructure. This includes developing a diversified transport system that links the country’s road, rail, water and air transportation networks. Business operators will greatly benefit from the development of the nationwide dual-track railway system and the further expansion of the road network.
These national infrastructure improvements are geared towards further enhancing the country’s Logistics system, by linking regional and international production bases in the country with Laem Chabang Deep Seaport and Suvarnabhumi International Airport.
The Thai government has declared 2009 as the “Thailand Investment Year”, a special time when investment in key target sectors will receive maximum benefits from the government through the Thailand Board of Investment (BOI). The current emphasis is on investment in priority industries such as infrastructure development, renewable energy and agro industry. Given the volatile energy market, people are now already looking forward to plenty of opportunities in Thailand as far as alternative fuel is concerned because of the country’s broad and strong agricultural base.
Thailand’s Southern Seaboard Development Project also offers many investment opportunities. It is strategically located on Thailand’s southern peninsula, with harbours facing the Andaman Sea and Indian Ocean on the west, and the Gulf of Thailand and South China Sea on the east. This area has close proximity to Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, India and the world’s major shipping routes through the Straits of Malacca. A portion of this development project will be set aside for industrial estates for such industries as steel, power generation and inland transportation.
Thailand’s key industrial sectors are consistently growing and the country is proudly earning its position in the world arena:
Apart from building the foundation for successful business operations, Thailand as an investment location is also backed by strong supporting industries. The Thai government has also taken vital steps in helping facilitate the setting up of businesses in Thailand by creating one-start-one-stop centres. In addition, human resources development and skills training are promoted to ensure that Thai workers are always attuned with modern technology.
The present government’s economic stimulus package, worth over 1.5 trillion baht or around USD 45 billion over the next three years, offers potential investors, Thai and foreign alike, vast opportunities for investments in major infrastructure development schemes such as those concerning transport, logistics, education, telecommunications and energy.