It is not so many years ago that Thailand was viewed as a third-world country. It still had a huge appeal thanks to its natural beauty and the fact that it was viewed as relatively cheap but the concept of investing in the Kingdom would have been almost unheard of.
All that has changed, Thailand now has a vibrant and expanding economy with a skilled labour force that is still relatively cheap compared to many other countries in the world. In addition, the economy is also welcoming and encouraging of expats to invest in various businesses, in some cases creating special economic zones. It has long been recognised that the Thai government is a firm believer in an open and free economy whilst at the same time recognising the need for international assistance in order to facilitate the country’s continued growth.
As early as 2009, a report prepared by the World Bank had Thailand ranked 13th out of 181 nations in the world for the category of ‘ease of performing business’. This is something that has only continued in subsequent years with many connected to industry and the economy actively encouraging foreign investment by creating greater opportunities, reducing any existing restrictions as well as offering attractive incentives.
There are lots of reasons why you might feel compelled to invest in Thailand, but below we have compiled a list of six of the most common reasons.
Thailand is located right at the heart of Asia. This makes trade links with major players in the region far easier in terms of logistics. The increases the opportunities that are available from India and China as well as the other countries in ASEAN. With deep-sea ports freely available and countries such as Hong Kong and Singapore being easily accessible by air, the benefits are plain to see.
Perhaps political stability is not something that you would commonly associate with Thailand but in recent years the government has actively sort overseas investment. This has continued regardless of which political party has been in power and is still the case even with an unelected government. Although there may be some hostility towards what may be perceived as a military regime, in reality, it has very little impact.
Schemes such as the Board of Investment, commonly referred to as the BOI, the government offers some of the most attractive incentives for overseas businesses in the region. These incentives are not limited to financial incentives but also ways that can ease the business process. The Thai economy is also strong and stable and the same can be said for the currency.
Thailand has an abundance of natural resources that obviously hold their own appeal. This along with the aforementioned skilled labour market, excellent IT and communication networks and modern transportation links that are constantly improving, makes the country a very appealing destination for major investors. Road, sea and air links, in the major cities at least are excellent, and there is constant talk over improvement to rail links – some of which will run directly to China.
As we have already established, the Thai government actively welcomes overseas investors. This, when coupled with the country’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policies, has shown to be beneficial to the government, investors and the overall Thai economy. Many jobs have been created in regions that had previously been viewed as under-developed and a lot of this can be attributed to the BOI companies.
Thailand was one of the founding members of ASEAN and has consistently been viewed as one of the major driving forces. As part of their role in ASEAN they have actively played an important role in the ASEAN Free Trade Association (AFTA) which has the objective of imposing zero duties between member nations in a similar manner to the European Union. This just goes to emphasise the fact that Thailand promotes free and fair trade which can only create greater opportunities for foreign investors.
Safety and Protectionism
The Kingdom of Thailand both recognises and respects international rules including the Paris Convention and The Patent and Co-operation Treaty. In addition, the Thai government consistently works to protect global brands that are registered in the country. Every effort is made to protect business on all levels which should increase investor confidence.
Thailand is trying to establish itself as an economic force, not just in the region but on a global scale. There are many incentives out there for all businesses regardless of their size. The country has a rapidly expanding tourist market that again opens a variety of avenues, not least within the real estate sector. Thailand is a strong and stable country in every respect and that offers fantastic investment opportunities.