Why Thailand

WHY Thailand

Why should I invest in Thailand?

Thailand is one of the most popular destinations to travel to at the moment, with the country enjoying continued favor among both pleasure and business travelers. Picturesque mountain scenery, crystalline seas and pristine beaches, spectacular temples, and several World Heritage Sites are not the only wonders to be found in the slice of paradise that is Thailand, as the country also offers a buffet of benefits for the more business-minded. Unbeknownst to many, Thailand’s business-ready and investment-friendly climate is propelling the Kingdom of Wonder into investor-haven territory.

Moreover, Thailand was ranked the safest destination in the world to visit during the COVID-19 pandemic. The country topped the list because of its high International Health Regulations score of 85 per cent, moderate population density and very low number of COVID-19 cases.


Thailand’s economy grew by 3.9% in 2017, which is its best growth performance since 2012, and growth is expected to reach 4.1% in 2018. It comes as no surprise then that Thailand was ranked the 32nd most competitive nation in the world (of 137 countries) in the 2017–2018 edition of the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report. On Bloomberg’s Misery Index 2018 report, Thailand was ranked the least miserable country out of 66 countries for the fourth consecutive year.

Investment wonders will not soon cease in Thailand as the country — which boasts a USD 406.8 billion GDP, 68.9 million population, and USD 16,885 GDP per capita — was ranked 8th of the top 10 Best Countries to Invest in 2018. The ranking is the result of a study conducted by global marketing and communications firm BAV Group in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.


The ranking is also an indication that Thailand’s 20-year National Economic Strategy (2017–2036) is moving the country in the right direction. With its goal to achieve the status as one of the most preferred investment destinations in Asia, the Thai government has launched a number of mega infrastructure projects, which include a high-speed rail venture with China, airport upgrades, and mass transit lines in Bangkok and the Eastern Economic Corridor.


Legal and regulatory reforms are another of the government’s focal points as the country works to prepare for technology investment in the 4.0 era and improve the ease of doing business in Thailand. The amended Investment Promotion Act B.E. 2560 (2017) is the latest legislation to grant foreign investors exemption of import duties. Previously, this was limited to materials used for manufacturing for re-exportation; however, it now includes materials imported for domestic use, particularly those for research and development activities. Foreign investments in certain industries that involve new and advanced technology and bring in development and innovation are strongly encouraged by the Thai government.

Thailand is among the top three investment destinations in ASEAN, with the esteemed institution reporting that it takes only about five days to start a business in Thailand. The Kingdom of Smiles also offers foreign investors and their families privileged facilitations through the issuance of a renewable, five-year, multiple-entry Thai residence visa. To qualify, foreign investors are required to become a member of Thailand Elite, the first program of its kind worldwide developed by the Thailand Privilege Card Company Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, under the Royal Thai Government.

Through the offering, Thailand Elite members can enjoy visits of ‘regular’ duration, i.e. 90 days, to visits as long as one year. Exclusively, members can stay in the country for an unlimited period, just as any Thai citizen, as the one-year stay extension can be renewed annually without the usual need to cross the border.

There are so many good reasons why you should invest in Thailand:

Strategic location

Thailand’s strategic location in the heart of ASEAN connected with the fast-growing CLMV (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) countries makes it an ideal location for businesses and business investors. Additionally, the powerhouse economies of nearby China and India are also easily reachable from Thailand by virtue of its world-class transport infrastructure, which further provides great opportunities for cross-border trade and investment.

Stable Economy and strong export base

Thailand’s GDP has increased continuously over the past several years. The Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council reported Thailand’s GDP growth for 2018 to be 4.1%, and has additionally forecasted that GDP growth for 2019 will be in the range of 3.5 – 4.5%. It is expected that the Thai economy will continue to grow favorably, driven primarily by increased consumer spending and expanding private investment, as well as gains from the recovering tourism sector.

Regional and international cooperation

Featuring an open economy with liberal economic policies, Thailand is a participant in a large number of bilateral Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), as well as the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA). This allows businesses in Thailand to engage in virtually tariff-free trade with 17 different nations, including such major global economies as Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, and India in addition to the other 9 ASEAN members.

Worldwide connection

Furthermore, Thailand is in the process of negotiating to join the future Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). The RCEP potentially could include more than 3 billion people or up to 45% of the world’s population, with a combined GDP of about $21.3 trillion, accounting for about 40 percent of world trade. In addition, Thailand has announced its interest in joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). These major trading blocs should provide enterprises in Thailand with greatly increased overseas market opportunities once they come into effect.

Leading foreign direct investment destination

As a magnet for foreign investment, FDI stock in Thailand has soared from USD 95 billion in 2008 to USD 219 billion in 2017; a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.72% over the decade. Having grown at an increasing rate for the last 5 consecutive years, and with this growth expected to continue throughout 2019, Thailand’s economy has the momentum to become an even stronger base for trade and investment in the immediate future.

Streamlining laws & regulations, application procedures to facilitate business operations

To further facilitate the business process for both foreign and local companies, the Thai government has been pursuing numerous initiatives aimed at assisting investors and streamlining procedures by eliminating and/or streamlining unnecessary laws and regulations that are or act as obstacles to business operations. This, along with other endeavors, has significantly improved Thailand’s international ranking for ease of doing business, and reduced the amount of time needed to start a new business from 27.5 days to 4.5 days.

Thailand 4.0: A New Economic Model

To ensure Thailand’s economy continues to develop over the next 20 years, the Thai government has adopted a new economic model called Thailand 4.0, which is focused on transforming Thailand into a value-based economy built upon science, technology, innovation and creativity. To this end, five existing high potential industries and an additional five new targeted industries have been identified as the “New Engines of Growth” driving the country into the future.

Strong Infrastructure: Large-scaled Infrastructure Development in Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC)

To further boost the country’s competitiveness, the Thai government has generated a long-term infrastructure plan to accelerate economic growth. This plan prioritizes the improvement of existing infrastructure as well as the construction of numerous new projects in many areas including expansion of airports, seaports, roads, rail systems and ICT infrastructure.

Mass Transit Transport

Bangkok is presently served by the BTS (Sky-train), MRT (Underground and Purple Line) light railway systems, and the Airport Rail Link. The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is working on the expansion of the city’s light rail network under its M-MAP plan, with an anticipated expansion of 400 kilometers of new tracks to be added to the already existing 100 kilometers.

Digital Infrastructure

Thailand has also undertaken numerous projects to strengthen the country’s ICT infrastructure, guided by the National Digital Economy Master Plan (2016-2020). The government has worked on providing free Wi-Fi hot spots in almost 25,000 villages across the country, creating a national broadband network and connecting to almost 75,000 villages, as well as all schools and local hospitals. Concurrently they have been doubling the capacity of the submarine cables serving the country, including adding a new cable connecting Thailand to Hong Kong. These projects, among other initiatives, have resulted in an increase in the local ICT market size and improved the country’s international digital rankings.

Science and Technology

Another key factor enhancing Thailand’s competitiveness is the strength of its scientific and technological prowess. The National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) is the agency responsible for strengthening the development of science and technology in the country.


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