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A Vibrant and Growing Economy

 

Thailand is Southeast Asia’s second largest economy with a gross domestic product (GDP) of around USD 385 billion in 2013. With a free-market economy, the Kingdom has a strong domestic market and a growing middle class, with the private sector being the main engine of growth. The Thai economy is well integrated into the global marketplace, with exports accounting for over 70 per cent of the Kingdom’s GDP. Thailand also has a strong industrial sector (38.1 per cent of GDP) and a robust and growing services sector (25.7 per cent of GDP) centred on the tourism and financial services industries. Though traditionally an agrarian society and historically one of the world’s few net food exporters, the agricultural sector today accounts for approximately 8.3 per cent of the country’s GDP. Thailand continues to invest in new projects to maintain its growth. For a list of recently approved projects by the Board of Invesments click here.

Given the importance of exports to Thailand, it has been a leader in the region in terms of trade liberalisation and facilitation with the rest of the world, starting with its Asian neighbours. Thailand is a key player in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), enjoying a strategic location that provides easy access to a larger market of nearly 600 million people, which is expected to gain even more strength when the ASEAN vision of One Community materialises in 2015, making it a community of connectivity, a single market and production base. Furthermore, Thailand’s convenient access to China and India, as well as to other East Asian countries such as Japan and the Republic of Korea, takes this huge consumer market to even bigger proportions.

In addition, Thailand’s friendly relations and expanding networks of free trade agreements with other countries have further opened up trade access to markets both within and outside the region. These, coupled with the Kingdom’s strategic positioning, have made the country a regional centre for international travel and trade, as well as a hub for various industries, of which the most notable are the automotive industry and agro-industries. With a favourable investment climate, an entrepreneurial spirit and an open society, Thailand has been chosen by many businesses, media firms, as well as international organisations and non-governmental organisations as the base for their regional offices. Thailand has long been known for its open, free, and business-friendly market economy and sound macro-economic policies with fiscal and monetary prudence. To enhance the country’s competitiveness, the country has been streamlining its laws and regulations, improving its infrastructure, enlarging the pool of quality workforce and promoting research and development to promote a creative economy. Thailand therefore remains a favourite investment destination of choice for foreign investors looking for business opportunities both within Thailand and throughout Asia, attracting on average around USD 10 billion in net foreign direct investment every year.

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. In a recent interview Honda Chairman, Fumihiko Ike, stated that he continues to be confident in Thailand's business sector.  

Economy info

For information on Thailand's Special Economic Zone, please click here to see a brochure

1st Quarter 2014 Key Indicators
Export: $55.5 billion
Import: $49.1 billion
Export growth rate: - 0.8%
Import growth rate: -14.8%
Current account balance: $1.9 billion
Unemployment: 0.9%
Headline inflation: 2.45%
Official foreign reserves: $167.45 billion

2014
GDP: $382 billion
GDP per capita: $5,572
GDP growth: 1.5-2.5%

2013 
GDP: $385 billion
GDP per capita: $5,647
GDP growth: 2.9%

2012
GDP: $366 billion
GDP per capita: $5,390
GDP growth: 6.5%

2011
GDP: $345.6 billion
GDP per capita: $5,113
GDP growth: 0.1%

data:  http://www.thailandtoday.in.th/economy/overview