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About Thailand

With a GDP of US$ 406.8 billion, Thailand is the world’s 32nd largest economy and the second largest economy in South East Asia. Its economy expanded by 3.2% in 2016, and the government estimates that growth in 2017 will be between 3.3 and 3.8%. The economy is expected to be driven by government spending and improved exports in 2017.

Thailand’s economy is well diversified and competitive. The country offers a favorable business environment owing to its open, market-oriented economy, efficient regulatory system, relatively low tax rates, and open policies towards investment and trade.

Population: 68.2 million
Inflation Rate: 0.2%
Currency: Thai Baht (THB)
Ave Exchange Rate: THB 35.4 : US$ 1
Imports: US$ 194.7 billion
Exports: US$ 215.3 billion
GDP: US$ 406.8 billion
GDP per capita (PPP) US$ 16,800
Real GDP Growth 3.2%
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INDUSTRY REPORTS

This report is designed to provide an overview of the medical technologies sector in Thailand. The sector is expanding, thanks to a combination of rising income, aging population, nationwide health care access, and a foreign-friendly regulatory environment. Thanks to the government’s ass...

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This report is designed to provide an overview of the smart cities sector in Thailand. The country has been making strides in its pursuit to develop smart cities with the launch of its “Thailand 4.0” national policy that will play a key role in driving the government’s econom...

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Thailand Country Profile

The report offers a wide range of data and information collected from various sources that were built together in order to provide not just facts but deeper insights about the country. Unlike other country reports that focus more on macro-economic data, we think that the most valuable part of ...

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Thailand faces many challenges in the water and wastewater sector. Potable water accessibility is a critical issue in Thailand. Less than half of urban households have properly piped water source, while 62% of the rural population obtain untreated water from rivers, canals, ponds or sometimes ...

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Thailand

ECONOMIC NEWS

Thailand’s Economy's Quarterly Growth Exceeds Forecasts

Thailand  -  September 2018

The Thai economy has grown more robustly than expected in the second quarter of the year, buoyed by solid export and investment gains. The country’s recovering is underpinned by solid export demand and tourism.

The economy expanded 4.6%. Total investment increased 3.6% year on year and public investment expanded 4.9 per cent year on year in the second quarter. Exports, a key driver of the economy, climbed 12.3% year on year for the quarter. The National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) is maintaining its 2018 forecast for GDP growth, but it has raised its estimate for expansion in exports, citing an improvement in the economies of the country’s trading partners.

According to news reports, the first interest rate hike since 2011 can be expected from the Bank of Thailand if GDP growth is maintained. The Thai Baht has been performing well in a difficult environment for many emerging market's currencies. The Baht has moved up by nearly 2% in the last quarter against the US Dollar, making it the best performer among 12 major Asian currencies tracked by Bloomberg. A rise in interest rates would help to draw investors. 

(Sources: The Nation; The Business Times)

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ICT

Bank Of Thailand Planning To Develop Cryptocurrency For Inter-Bank Transfers

Thailand  -  September 2018

The Bank of Thailand (BoT) is initiating a project aimed at developing and eventually launching a cryptocurrency to be used as a trading platform for transfers between participating banks. The project intends to explore the implications and the potential benefits of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) to enhance efficiency of the Thai financial market infrastructure. The BOT and the participating banks will collaboratively design and develop a proof-of-concept prototype for wholesale funds transfer by issuing wholesale Central Bank Digital Currency (Wholesale CBDC). The prototype will be built on Corda, a DLT platform developed by R3. R3 has ebeen involved in similar DLT projects for other major central banks, such as the Monetary Authority of Singapore. 

The initiative is called ‘Project Inthanon’, and it is led by the BoT, iin collaboration with technology partners R3 and eight participating banks, namely Bangkok Bank, Krung Thai Bank, Bank of Ayudhya, Kasikornbank, Siam Commercial Bank, Thanachart Bank, Standard Chartered Bank (Thai) PCL and The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Ltd (HSBC).

During Phase 1 of Project Inthanon, which is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2019, BOT and the participating banks will collaboratively design, develop and test a proof-of-concept prototype for domestic wholesale funds transfer by using wholesale CBDC. Key payment functionalities such as liquidity saving mechanism and risk management will also be developed and tested during this phase. BOT will publish a project summary and based upon the findings and outcomes from Phase 1, the project participants aim to further develop the capabilities of the prototype for broader functions including third party funds transfer and cross-border funds transfer.

In addition to Project Inthanon, the BOT is conducting a DLT proof of concept for scripless government savings bond sale to improve operational efficiency

(Sources: The Phuket News; Bank of Thailand)

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ENERGY

EGAT Invites LNG Producers And Businesses To Be Gas Suppliers

Thailand  -  September 2018

State-owned power utility, Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT), has issued a Request for Expression of Interest for importing 800,000-1.5 million mt/year of LNG for four to eight years starting March 2019. This move signals the opening up of the country's gas markets, which have been controlled by state-run oil and gas company PTT. EGAT, which is Thailand's largest power producer, will import the gas at PTT's Map Ta Phut LNG receiving terminal.

EGAT has invited LNG producers and businesses in the international market to submit a Request for Expression of Interest (REOI), along with information of their readiness to supply LNG in order for EGAT to select and register before entering the bidding process. EGAT will choose the producer or business with experience, financial stability, and readiness to supply LNG in both quantity and quality. EGAT’s LNG price must not exceed the lowest LNG price of Thailand’s current long-term supply contract. This is in line with the resolution of the National Energy Policy Committee to promote competition in the LNG business on July 31, 2017, and for EGAT to become a new LNG importer of Thailand.

The power producer, which has an installed generation capacity of over 15 GW as of March 2018, will use the imported gas to feed its gas-fired power plants including 1,220 MW of capacity at South Bangkok, 710 MW at Bang Pakong and 750 MW at Wang Noi. EGAT expects a significant portion of its gas demand to be met through direct LNG imports instead of having to rely on PTT. 

(Sources: S&P Global Platts; Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand)

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MEDICAL

Thai Hospital Operator Booms Backed By Aging Thais And Medical Tourism

Thailand  -  September 2018

Bangkok Dusit Medical Services Pcl, a Thai hospital operator, has seen its shares to boom in 2018, becoming the most-valuable such business in any emerging market, with a value of USD13 billion.

The growth is being backed by rising demand from Thailand’s aging population as well as an increase in medical tourism.  “The inadequacies of public healthcare will continue to bolster the earnings growth of Bangkok Dusit”, said Adithep Vanabriksha, Bangkok-based chief investment officer of Aberdeen Standard Investments during an interview with Bloomberg.

Bangkok Dusit today operates 45 hospitals under six brands in Thailand, counting a combined 8,000 beds. The company has expanded mostly through acquisitions, including hospitals and wellness centers in resort hubs such as Phuket and Samui.

(Source: Bloomberg)

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ENVIRONMENT

Thai MEA And Nissan To Work Together For EV Infrastructure Development

Thailand  -  September 2018

The Thai Metropolitan Electricity Authority (MEA) and Japan's Nissan Motor Thailand have agreed to join forces to install quick-charging outlets in households, supporting the future introduction of the Nissan Leaf, a fully electric vehicle (EV), in the Thai market. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed which will last for two years. The agreement is focused on studying know-how from MEA in developing new wall outlets for electrified vehicles (EV) in Thailand.

Nissan Thailand president Antoine Barthes said that the move is part of their plan to introduce in Thailand the Leaf, EV wall charger. “The move would address fears that EVs were uneconomic, and set a cornerstone for the future development of electrified mobility in the nation.

The Leaf uses a CHAdeMO charging type, meaning that Thailand will likely consider following the standard as well, making another potential addition to the growing movement to standardize EV charging across the world. CHAdeMO is a quick charging method for battery electric vehicles delivering up to 62.5 kW by 500 V, 125 A direct current via a special electrical connector. A revised CHAdeMO 2.0 specification allows for up to 400 kW by 1000 V, 400 A direct current. Other reports claim that the Thai government is more interested in establishing a type 2 standard, similar to the European CCS (Combined Charging System) standard. The Combined Charging System allows AC charging using the Type 1 and Type 2 connector depending on the geographical region. 

(Sources: Bangkok Post; Electrive.com)

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INFRASTRUCTURE

PTT Eyes Rail Project

Thailand  -  September 2018

PTT, a Thai state-owned oil and gas company, is discussing with potential partners a joint bid for a USD 7-billion high-speed train project, whose aim it to connect three major Thai airports, namely Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports and U-Tapao airport in Rayong. This initiative is to be considered in the context of the government-backed Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) plan. 

The EEC is US$52 billion plan to modernize the infrastructure and the industries of the strategic provinces of Rayong, Chachoengsao and Chon Buri.

Around 31 firms, mostly from Thailand, China and Japan, are reportedly studying the project’s terms.

PTT is the largest Thai company by market value. The company seems poised to make its first investment in railways. It said running a train line would help it cut logistical costs and allow its retail business to expand before it floats on the Thai stock exchange in 2019.

(Source : ASEAN Economist)

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MANUFACTURING

Covestro To Boost Thai Investment With Plant Expansion

Thailand  -  September 2018

Germany company Covestro, one of the world's leading polymer companies, has decided to make a significant investment in Thailand. The company wants to boost its production capacity for specialty filmsin Rayong province. The company’s plan to expand its manufacturing plant in Map Ta Phut will allow Covestro to keep pace with rising global demand, the company's chief financial officer, Thomas Toepfer, said during an interview with The Nation. The expansion of its specialty films production in Thailand is expected to be completed by the end of 2019, hence increasing the production capacity by around 50 per cent.

Covestro’s manufacturing plant in Map Ta Phut is among the eight largest production facilities that it operates worldwide

Covestro has three businesses in Thailand covering polyurethanes, polycarbonates, and also coatings, adhesives etc. and most of the production is exported. The factory in Map Ta Phut produces polycarbonates and specialty films. Covestro also has a facility in Bangpoo, Samut Prakarn, which produces polyurethanes and tailor-makes them to meet customer needs. 

Toepfer said that the sales revenue of Covestro's three existing businesses in Thailand registered annual growth in the double digits for the second quarter of this year.

 “Thailand is very well served as our strategic location for production and further investment. It offers good infrastructure, talented people in technical fields, support on FDI (foreign direct investment) from government including the new projects in the EEC and a great logistics network” Toepfer said. 

(Source: The Nation)

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DEFENSE / AEROSPACE / AVIATION

Thai Airways Enters Into R&D Collaboration With Rolls-Royce

Thailand  -  September 2018

Thai Airways International has initiated a R&D collaboration with British company Rolls-Royce for the Trent XWB engine. The Trent XWB Development Testing partnership will take place over a two-year period at Don Mueang airport. The project, which is the first first overseas engine research and development testing for Rolls-Royce outside the United Kingdom, is expected to further strengthen Thailand's aviation industry.

The collaboration encompasses manufacturing; maintenance, repair and operations (MRO); and development testing. The initial objective is to conduct R&D on the engine which powers the Airbus A350-1000 aircraft that was launched at the beginning of 2018. In 2020, THAI Airways and Rolls-Royce will cooperate on Trent 700 engine maintenance and overhaul, making THAI's facility a certified and authorised engine maintenance centre for Rolls-Royce. Becoming an Authorised Maintenance Centre (AMC) for Rolls-Royce will enable THAI to support their growing fleet of Rolls-Royce engines while also generating additional capacity and flexibility within the Rolls-Royce CareNetwork. THAI operates around 80 widebody aircraft, of which more than 50 are powered by Rolls-Royce engines.

Rolls Royce entered the Thai market over 50 years ago and today Rolls-Royce invests about USD100 million a year to support the manufacturing supply chain footprint in Thailand.

(Source: Bangkok Post; Rolls Royce)

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RETAIL / FMCG

Tesco Lotus Beefs Up Retail Portfolio

Thailand  -  September 2018

The operator of Tesco Lotus hypermarkets, Ek-chai Distribution System Co, is expanding its retail space by a total of 55,000 square metres this fiscal year, capitalizing on improved prospects in the retail business sector next year.

Just in 2018, the company opened 45 new Tesco stores, including six hypermarkets, one department store, one Talad and 37 Tesco Express outlets. The company is now planning to focus on  second-tier cities.

Thailand is Tesco Group's largest international market outside the United Kingdom. It currently operates 2,000 outlets across the country. Chief executive Sompong Rungnirattisai said, in an interview with Bangkok Post: "We are committed to continuing to invest here. Thailand is an interesting country to invest because per capita income keeps rising along with increased urbanisation. These are both positive factors for our retail business."

(Source: Bangkok Post)

Companies

1   customized agent   distributor search

Customized Agent/ Distributor/Reseller Search

Having completed over 1000 customized agent/distributor/reseller searches for our clients over the years, this is one of the most popular trade services that we offer to potential clients. Typic...

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Sourcing Services

There is a growing interest in sourcing for products from South East Asia for strategic and competitive reasons. Companies from around the world are looking for suppliers in Malaysia, Thailand, ...

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Business Incorporation/ Site Selection

We counsel businesses on where to locate their office and industrial operations and what the optimal business structure should be to meet local government and tax requirements. Some of the quest...

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3   market research

Market Research

To successfully export your products or services, you need to learn about your customers, your competitors and your industry. Our market research process starts off with brainstorming effective ...

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2   trade show support

Trade Show Support

Many companies participate in trade shows hoping to find customers or local agents or distributors. However, they come away from these events with less than desired results. But with our trade s...

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Additional Services

Based on past experience in helping companies that are looking to grow their exports to one or more markets in South East Asia, we have found that some of these additional services that we offer...

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Economic Development Agencies & Trade Associations

7   trade mission organization

Trade Mission Organization

Visiting a market to meet with prospective customers or partners is essential as business is built on developing personal connections and understanding the local culture. Traveling ...

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2   trade show support

Trade Show Support

Trade shows can be an excellent option for companies and trade organizations to make key business and industry connections overseas. But to maximize the benefit of participating in ...

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8   trade representation

Trade Representation

With over 20 years of experience providing dedicated representation in South East Asia to economic development organizations (EDOs) from North America and Europe, we offer EDOs the ...

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3   market research

Market Research

Our strong track record in performing a targeted analysis of specific industry sectors in multiple markets has helped many economic development organizations (EDOs) to develop strat...

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9   investment attraction

Investment Attraction

Attracting investment from overseas can mean new or retained jobs in your area. Our investment attraction support services will position your economic development organization (EDO)...

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Additional Services

Having worked with government agencies and trade associations for over 20 years, we also provide a range of additional services customized to the requirements of these organizations...

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ClaroNav Kolahi Inc.

Canada
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Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam
NaviEnt is a simple, accurate and affordable Ear Nose Thr...
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Ramsoft Inc

Canada
Medical
Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam
Customizable and flexible radiology software solutions, P...
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Theralase® Technologies Inc

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Medical; Others
Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam
The therapeutic laser is used to eliminate pain, reduce i...
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NewDVR (S) Pte Ltd

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Building Products - Residential & Commercial; Infocomm Technologies (ICT); Safety & Security
Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia
Our products include Alarm Systems, Visitor Management Sy...
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Pacer Pumps

USA
Agriculture & Livestock; Industrial Equipment & Parts; Others
Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam
Thermoplastic centrifugal pumps for these sectors - Agric...
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Solace Corporation

Canada
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Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam
Message Router Appliances - Purpose-built hardware for me...
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