Doing Business in Thailand


Thailand is strategically located in the center of Asia with easy access to it’s neighbors and it´s also a great opportunity to do business in Thailand and the rest of Asian countries.

It is the only country in South East Asia which was never colonized. Being a buddhist country, it’s monarchy  and military have helped Thailand to shape up it’s society and politics. The land of smiles is an awesome destination and is liked by westerners as well as Asians equally for it’s landscapes, courteous behavior of people, abundance of white sand beaches and not but least great business opportunities in Thailand.

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Thailand has world class infrastructure, a population of over 67 million, abundant natural resources, skilled and cost-effective workforce, and a strong export and domestic consumer market. This has helped Thailand to be natural leader in the emerging markets and a good destination to start a business.

Some quick facts about Thailand:

The combination of factors and the continued efforts of government agencies to reduce ‘red-tape’ and facilitate investors have led to Thailand being among the highest-ranked countries for FDI by independent observers, as well as by foreign business investors.

Thailand has the world’s:

  •  11th largest agricultural output
  • 17th largest manufacturing output
  • 24th largest economy by purchasing power
  • 21st largest trade in goods
  • 22nd largest industrial output
  • 28th biggest export volume
  • 30th largest earnings from services and income
  • 31st largest economy
  • 35th largest services output
  • 19th most air travel
  • 17th most tourist arrivals

Thailand in 2014

In 2014, the World Economic Forum (WEF) ranked Thailad in terms of compitiveness, 6 places higher than the previouse year. It also moved up 12 place in the macroeconomic environment pillar. Despite Thailand’s constamtly changing political dynamic, it has a firm economic foundation that proves its resiliency time and time again. Many long-time investors in Thailand have come to understand this unique aspect of the Thai economy.

  • Thailand ranks 31st for Global Competitiveness
    Source: WEF
  • Thailand ranks 8th as a top perspective host economy 2014-2016
    Source: UNCTAD
  • Thailand ranks among the easiest places to do business in Asia and 18th in the world 2013
    Source: World Bank
  • Thailand ranks number one for overall quality of life 2013
    Source: HSBC
  • Thailand ranks 3rd in Market Improvment 2010-2012
    Source: CLSA CG Watch


Thailand as a Business Destination

Thailand is strategically located to be the center of Asia and easy access to it’s neighboring countries like Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Thailand has world class infrastructure with 7 International airports, 6 deep sea ports, 2 International river ports, modern city-wide mass transit system through it’s wide network of roads, highways and railway networks which connects all corners of Thailand. Thailand’s major aviation hub at Suvarnabhum Airport handles over 45 million passengers annually and connects to all major airports globally.

With it’s population of over 67 million, abundant natural resources, skilled and cost-effective workforce,  strong export and domestic consumer market has helped Thailand to be natural leader in the emerging markets. Business in Thailand is often rewarding to those who can foresee the thailand investment opportunities and finally starting a company in Thailand after conducting a thorough Thailand market research.

Thailand, being the gateway of Asia and the home of the largest growing economy of the world, has a stable economic development with strong support of Industries, both long standing as well as in emerging sectors. The government has identified and emphasizes on 6 target industries for it’s overall objective of the country’s growth – Agriculture and Agro-industry, Alternative energy, Automotive, Electronics and ICT, Fashion, and Value-added services including Entertainment, Healthcare and Tourism.

The Thai Government agencies support investors immensely. The Board of Investment(BOI) offers a range of tax incentives, support and import duty exemptions or reductions for an extensive list of promoted business activities. Companies receiving investment promotion privileges from the Board of Investment are not subject to foreign equity restrictions in the manufacturing sector, and there are no local content requirements nor export requirements, as Thailand’s investment regime is in total compliance with WTO regulations. With it’s one-stop service, foreigners are offered work permits and long term visa in a single day for all BOI promoted companies.

Thailand’s well defined investment policies encourage free trade. Foreign investments, specially those contribute to the development of skills, technology and innovation are actively supported by the government. Thailand features amongst the top investment locations in the world as per International surveys.

World Bank’s 2014 Ease of doing Business report places Thailand as the 18th easiest country in the world and the 5th country in South East Asia . According to United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Thailand ranks as the 8th most attractive host economy in the world (UNCTAD 2012-2014)

As per Bloomberg’s report as the Best Emerging Markets for 2014, Thailand appears to be the 5th country in the Emerging markets that attracts 31.48% of it’s projected average GDP growth of 4.50 in 2014-2015




In addition to BOI, other government agencies like Department of Export Promotion and International Chamber of Commerce provide valuable support to investors and country’s economy growth.

Some important data

Facts about Thailand
Population (July 2013 est.)

67.44 million

ASEAN Population

600 million

Literacy Rate


Minimum Wage (1 Jan 2013, all provinces)

300 Baht/day

GDP (2012)

US$366 billion

GDP per Capita (2012)


GDP Growth (2012)


GDP Growth (2013, projected)


Export Growth (2012)


Export Growth (2013, projected)


Trade Balance (2012)

US$8.3 billion

Current Account Balance (2012)

US$2.7 billion

International Reserves (2012)

US$181.61 billion

Capacity Utilization (2012)


Manufacturing Production Index (2012)


Consumer Price Index (Sept 2013)


Corporate Income Tax


Withholding Tax


Value Added Tax


Source :


2015 – A Change in Asean

Through it’s strategic location in Asia, Thailand offers convenient trade opportunities to China, India and the countries of South Asian Nations (ASEAN). Thailand was one of the founding members of ASEAN and has been instrumental in the formation and development of the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA). AFTA entered into force on 1 January 2010 for the six original ASEAN (ASEAN-6) members (Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, and Brunei) thereby reducing import duties to zero; the so-called CLMV countries (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) will follow suit in 2015.

Thailand has long been a proponent of free and fair trade and its attractiveness as a production base for leading international companies is enhanced by a number of free trade agreement. ASEAN’s 10 member states aim to create an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2015, an integrated market that will have a combined population in excess of 600 million people. The AEC will feature a free flow of goods, services, investment, capital and labor within ASEAN, while creating a Single Aviation Market with an open-sky arrangement.

Read more about ASEAN in our ASEAN Advantage page and investment opportunities in Thailand.

Thailand- A Great Destination for Living

For several decades, Thailand has been a dream destination for foreigners who are captivated by it’s turquoise waters, white sand beaches, vibrant cities, exotic night life, ancient cultures, lush jungles, mouth-watering food and most of all, smiling faces. Foreigners are welcomed in the land of smiles with a reception they can hardly imagine elsewhere. The economic balance has kept Thailand to be an affordable destination with single star hotels to luxurious resorts, street food to fine dining, all available at a very convenient rate. Thai food is considered to be one of the top 5 cuisines in the world and it’s delicious taste often let travelers come back again and again to the land of smiles. Tourists often find Thailand as a great shopping destination and one of the favorite being the world famous weekend Chatuchak Market, where tourists throng in thousands  during the weekends, bargaining for the best buys of silk. clothes, potteries, paintings, artifacts, handicrafts and much more from over 15,000 shops. It is estimated that about 200,000 shoppers visit daily in this market during weekends and no wonder it is considered to be the largest weekend market in the world. Thai people are one of the friendliest people in the world with a Buddhist culture which teaches them to live their life in harmony and peace.

Two of the most essential things that persons consider for living abroad are medical and educational facilities.

Thailand has over 100 International schools providing American, British as well as other language curricula. The facilities offered in these International schools are at par with the highest standards available globally. Graduates from these schools are often enrolled in prestigious colleges in the world for further studies. Thailand has a literacy rate of 93.5%, considering people who are over 15 yrs of age, who can read and write

Medical systems in Thailand are so good because of it’s internationally certified doctors, modern equipments and facilities, that the country has given birth to medical tourism, where people all over the world come to have proper diagnosis and treatment at an affordable cost. As an expat, one does not feel unsecured in attending to health issues because most of the private hospitals assure best treatments. Like in the west, the medical insurance for people is affordable and effective with all major international insurance  companies having their presence in Thailand.

Thailand has a been a photographer’s delight and movie makers paradise. No wonder hundreds of films are shot every year in Thailand as a backdrop with it’s amazing jungle scenery, stunning beaches, phenomenal islands, lush green landscapes and exotic golden roof temples Thailand offers sunny bright days with clear blue skies for most of the time in the year which makes life comfortable for people who are coming here, specially from the dark, cold, harsh climates.

For anyone who loves traveling and yet to visit Thailand, would be missing a great  travel destination in the world and for someone who has already visited, will always remember it as a lovely country, offering heavenly leisure amenities yet as safe as being at home. Golf is the most popular sport in Thailand with over 100 immaculately designed golf courses which attracts top players from the world to visit often.

For anyone wishing to live in Thailand, several options are provided  to live comfortably including career optionsretirement facilitiesbusiness opportunities and investment opportunities.

Recently, 2013 Business Traveller Asia-Pacific Travel Awards announced Bangkok as “Best Leisure Destination in Asia-Pacific” while the city is also ranked second after Singapore for its “Best Business City in Southeast Asia” as well.

Please feel free to download this interesting brochure about doing business in Thailand on ‘Why Thailand”

Thailand – The Startup Destination

Thailand was one of the five founding members of ASEAN and is instrumental in forming and developing ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA). With six primary members (Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, and Brunei) AFTA came into force on 1 January 2010 thereby dipping the import duties to nil. Thailand has been a cost-competitive and cost-effective location for investors and offers expatriates’ quality lifestyle. Thailand also offers a welcoming culture with positive business regulatory framework along with the healthier macroeconomic environment.

We try to list down some of the reasons to understand why starting a business in Thailand is rewarding:

  • Strong business framework – Thailand is known for its well-established infrastructure, pro-investment policies and free-trade economy. With an average growth rate of 4 percent, Thailand is experiencing a steady growth since 2000.
  • Better trade relations: Thailand celebrated the 175th anniversary of their business alliance with the United States in 2008 and is the 23rd largest trading partner for the United States.
  • Easy of doing business: It has been ranked 13th as the easiest place of doing business in the world. It is also considered as one of the chief destination for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Thailand has also been ranked 11th globally for protecting investors interest, 10th for cross-border trading and 25th for enforcing contracts. Hence, doing business in Thailand is now easier and less complicated.
  • Attractive tax rates: Thailand offers low corporate taxes, ranging from 30 percent down to 10 percent based on various criteria which include profits, status under the Thai law and company listing on the Stock Exchange of Thailand. Additionally, the Investment Board provides several investment incentives which significantly shrink and reduce tax liabilities.
  • Modern Infrastructure: If you are looking to set up a business, Thailand is one of the best choices for you. Furthermore, if you are an entrepreneur having a global presence and looking for a centralized office, Asia, particularly Thailand is the ultimate destination due to its low-cost of operation. Thailand is a comfortable place for living with readily accessible high speed internet and all around WiFi available everywhere you go.

Several indicators of Thai business regulatory atmosphere have also enhanced. As per the Doing Business 2004-2005 Report by the World Bank, Thailand ranks 20th amongst other 145 countries scrutinized for ease of doing business. Starting a business in Thailand is considerably easier in terms of dealings, duration and cost paralleled to China, India, Malaysia and Vietnam. Fewer startup hurdles in Thailand permit businesses and entrepreneurs to swiftly place their resources to fruitful uses. Thailand entails the lowermost number of processes with the shortest time to register and do business in Thailand.  It required only two procedures, two days and costs 6 percent of the business value for registering a property. Starting a company in Thailand also competes favorably with fewer business start-up requirements. Further, Thailand market economy was considered for the highest index for financial information and disclosure of ownership to investors by the World Bank. Regulations in Thailand require businesses to reveal ownership information, such as beneficial and indirect ownership, family, financial performance and the exact nature of transactions related to business. By encouraging and enforcing transparency and also legal protection from expropriation aids foreign investors in Thailand and creates more business opportunities in Thailand.