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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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ECONOMIC NEWS

Thailand Board Of Investment Approves 5 Large Projects

Thailand  -  March 2019

The Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) has approved investment incentives for five projects with a total investment of value of over USD 1.3 billion.

The projects include:

1. A W (Thailand) Co., Ltd., was granted investment promotion incentives for its automatic transmission production project worth around USD 230 million. Located in Chonburi Province, this project will produce and supply automatic transmissions to both local and overseas carmakers.

2. General Rubber (Thailand) Co., Ltd. was granted investment promotion incentives for its vehicle tires production project worth USD 305 million. Located in Rayong Province, this project will boost local rubber consumption in support of the government’s policy as it will use approximately 35,398 tons per year of natural rubber.

3. Mr. Xunning Ju was granted investment promotion incentives for a vehicle tire production project worth over USD 315 million. Located in Chonburi Province, this project will increase local rubber consumption in support of the government’s policy as it will use approximately 23,838 tons per year of natural rubber.

4. Flying Officer Ronnachai Wongcha-um was granted investment promotion incentives for an aircraft heavy maintenance and repair center, a joint venture between Thai Airways International Plc and a global aircraft manufacturer. The USD 200 million project will be located at the Eastern Airport City (EEC-A) in Rayong Province. The project will enhance the country’s competitive advantages, especially in terms of new aircraft maintenance. It will also provide local aviation technicians with an opportunity to enhance their skills to comply with international standards.

5. Thai Lion Mentari Co., Ltd. was granted investment promotion incentives for its air transportation project with a total investment value of around USD 220 million. The low-cost airline will operate domestic and international services, which will support Thailand’s aviation and tourism industries.

 (Source: Thailand Board of Investment)

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ICT

DEPA Thailand Partners With 6 IoT Companies To Support Digital Park Thailand

Thailand  -  March 2019

The Digital Economy Promotion Agency (DEPA) of Thailand has entered into partnerships with several companies specializing in Internet-of-Things (IoT) technologies. These companies will colllaborate with DEPA to help forward the Thai government's Thailand 4.0 policy and support the planned Digital Park Thailand and the IoT Institute. DEPA is establishing Digital Park Thailand in the Eastern Economic Corridor aiming for it to be the next digital R&D hub of the ASEAN region. Eight digital clusters will be promoted in Digital Park areas including: Computer Hardware; Semi/superconductor; Smart Device, IoT, Robotics; Big Data & AI; Intelligent Platform & Auto System; Immersive Content; Satellite & Broadcast; Future Ultra High Broadband; and Digital Tech Startups. DEPA also plans to spend THB 1.6 billion (USD 50 million) to establish an IoT Institute as part of the Digital Park in the EEC by 2020.

The companies are as below: 


  1. Unity, a leading game development platform which also provides design services for automotive and other manufacturing industries and also enables real-time workflow to CG content creators in film and animation

  2. Spotwerkz, a Bangkok-based big data analytics company

  3. Willowmore, Asingapore-based company whose technologies include  Access Control Management systems, Enterprise Smart Locks, IOT gateways, Monitoring solutions, Robotics & Automation and Artificial Intelligence

  4. Gobi Partners, a leading early stage investors in IT in China and ASEAN, which manages 11 funds and has nine offices across China, Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. 

  5. UnaBiz, an IoT network operator and the exclusive network operator of Sigfox’s low-power wide-area network (LPWAN) in Singapore and Taiwan

  6. Ascent Solutions, a Singapore-based IoT company that specialises in cargo security and track & trace for smart logistics and has deep domain knowledge in technologies such as NB-IoT, Satcom, GPRS, Active and Passive RFID

(Source: e27) 

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ENERGY

Thailand Is Building the Largest Floating Solar Farms In The World

Thailand  -  March 2019

Thailand is planning to build the largest floating solar farms in the world, aiming at boosting the country’s production of renewable energy. The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) is scheduled to launch 16 solar farms that will have a combined capacity of more than 2.7 gigawatts by 2037. EGAT declared that, once these projects will be completed, floating solar will account for one tenth of Thailand’s clean energy sources.

The bidding for the first floating solar project will begin in two months and will be open to international companies. The first 45 megawatt farm at Sirindhorn Dam in northeast Thailand will have a budget set at USD 63 million, and it is expected that the farm will come online in 2020.

Thailand has been moving towards generating more electricity from renewable sources. The country has set the goal that renewable energy will make up 27% of overall capacity by 2037, according to its latest power development plan.

(Sources: The Bangkok Post; Energy Live News)

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MEDICAL

Thailand takes steps towards legal use of medicinal marijuana

Thailand  -  March 2019

The government of Thailand has been taking steps towards the legal use of marijuana, following the proposal of amendments in October 2018 that would legalize marijuana production and establish licenses for possession and distribution. Recreational use still remains illegal. 

Regulations from the Ministry of Health legalizing possession of marijuana for medical, research and other purposes were published in the Royal Gazette in late February. They covered possession by patients who need marijuana for the treatment of the illness, and the criteria for legal possession by governmental organizations, professionals, private universities, farm community-based enterprises, international transport operators and patients travelling internationally.

Subsequently a 90-day registration period for legal possession of marijuana was opened, which will end on 19 May. Registration can be done at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) office in Bangkok and also at provincial health offices.

Meanwhile, the Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) opened Thailand's first legal cannabis plantation on 27 February as the first step towards developing Thailand's own patented cannabis medicines. The plantation facility built with an investment of THB 100 million (USD 3.2 million) is equipped with advanced hi-tech closed-system aeroponics farming technology, which will ensure the crops meet the high medical-grade standard required to manufacture medicine from the plants.

Output from this facility will be used to produce cannabis oil which will be tested on selected patients, possibly by July. Extracts or "sublingual drops" will be administered to patients suffering from nausea and pain from chemotherapy, among other ailments.

(Sources: Chiang Rai Times; Straits Times: Channel NewsAsia; Thaivisa News)

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ENVIRONMENT

Thailand Plans New Taxes For Polluters

Thailand  -  March 2019

The Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) of Thailand and the Finance Ministry have drafted a law imposing new taxes and fees on polluters. According to the draft of the law, the Finance Ministry will be given stronger powers for fighting pollution, outlining seven key measures such as environmental taxes; management fees such as water treatment; taxes and fees on products that cause environment problems; deposits against environmental risks and damages; trading rights to use natural resources or to emit pollution; subsidies and support measures; and other measures.

Public awareness about environmental problems increased after the air quality in Bangkok and surrounding areas became toxic between late 2018 and early 2019.

(Source: The Bangkok Post)

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INFRASTRUCTURE

Thai Government Aiming For Completion Of Laos Rail Link By 2023

Thailand  -  March 2019

The government of Thailand is aiming for completion of the Thai-Sino high-speed railway project, linking Bangkok and Nong Khai, a Thai province on the border with Laos, by 2023, so that it can connect to another fast rail project in Laos, the Laos-China rail link expected to be completed in 2021. The route will ultimately connect with Vientiane, the capital of Laos, starting from Na Tha station in Nong Khai's Muang district and passing over the new Thai-Lao friendship bridge.

Upon completion, the high-speed railway with an estimated cost of THB 110 billion (USD 3.5 billion), will reduce travelling time between Bangkok and Nong Khai to around 3 hours from the current 11 hours. 

The project is divided into two phases. The first is a 253 km long section from Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima, while the second phase will cover the 355 km from Nakhon Ratchasima to Nong Khai. Work on the first phase has been dvided into into 14 civil work contracts. Under the first contract worth THB 425 million (USD 13.3 million), construction started on a 3.5 km section from Klang Dong to Pang Asok in Nakhon Ratchasima's Pak Chong district and it is around 45% completed. 

The second contract worth THB 3.1 billlion (USD 98 billion) covers an 11 km section from Sikhiu district to tambon Kut Chik in Sung Noen district in Nakhon Ratchasima. It was signed on 6 March and construction is expected to start in April. The remaining 12 civil work contracts for the first phase are expected to be signed in April. 

(Sources: Bangkok Post; Eleven Myanmar)

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MANUFACTURING

Scania Opens New Assembly Facility In Thailand

Thailand  -  March 2019

Scania, a Swedish manufacturer of commercial vehicles, launched a new assembly facility for trucks and bus chassis in the Bangkok Free Trade Zone. The new factory, which also holds a manufacturing facility for truck cabs, is the biggest investment in production that Scania has made outside Europe and Latin America. The facility covers a surface of 33,900 square metres and the total investment in the factory is THB 800 million (USD 26 million).

Scania Group Thailand is a fully cross-functional set-up and includes employees from Scania´s Production and Logistics, R&D, Purchasing as well as Sales and Marketing organisations. The facility will be working with around 15 main parts suppliers, including domestic Thai and international suppliers based in Thailand, as well as  other countries in South East Asia. 

In addition to the new facility, Scania has established a regional headquarters in Thailand, to support Scania’s distributors throughout Asia and Oceania in developing business in their markets.

(Sources: Scania; Automotive Logistics)

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DEFENSE / AEROSPACE / AVIATION

New MRO Joint Venture Launched In Thailand's EEC

Thailand  -  March 2019

BOSA-Thayaan Aircraft Service Company (BTAS) has become the first aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) organization to be approved under the Royal Thai Government’s (RTG) Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) initiative. The EEC’s vision for the aviation and aerospace community is to build the eastern seaboard of Thailand into a regional MRO hub.

BTAS is a joint-venture between UK-based BOSA (BOS Aerospace Ltd.) and Thailand-based Thayaan Consult’s Group.  BTAS currently holds Part-145 maintenance certifications, and can perform line maintenance on nearly all aircraft types except for the A380/A350.

BTAS is looking at expanding MRO operations within Thailand and Southeast Asia. The company is currently in negotiations with regional airport authorities to bring its line maintenance capabilities in the near future.

(Sources: BTAS; MRO-Network.com)

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RETAIL / FMCG

Companies Betting On Healthier Beverages In Thailand

Thailand  -  March 2019

Suntory PepsiCo Beverage (Thailand) Company Limited or SPBT, producer and distributor of the most popular beverages under Suntory and PepsiCo, is further expanding its array of refreshment products with the introduction of a new beverage, ‘goodmood’. The new product aims at capturing the growing trend of the new category ‘Water Plus’, which is a premium refreshing hydration with healthier proposition. Priced at around USD 0.6, ‘goodmood’ is available in two varieties: premium taste profile of “Blackcurrant” (available only at 7-Eleven stores) and for the first time of  “Yogurt” in clear form, available in a 450-ml PET bottle at convenience stores, supermarkets and traditional trade stores nationwide. ‘

In recent years, the beverage market in Thailand has been driven by a rising demand for healthier drinks. This has been reflected in increasing consumption of water and non-carbonated soft drinks, which now account for around 70% of the total market.

Another example of the growth of the healthier segment for the beverage market in Thailand is represented by the new strategic partnership that Sappe Holding Thailand Company Limited and Myen Pte Ltd (Danone), a 100% subsidiary of Danone, have entered into in 2019. The new joint venture, Danone Sappe Beverages Company Limited will develop, manufacture, market and distribute “healthier choice” beverages in Thailand.

In 2017, the government introduced a progressive sugar tax to nudge drink-makers to reduce the sweetness of their products. Drinks with a sugar content of under 6g per 100ml were exempt, but those with 18g of sugar content per 100ml faced a tax of THB 1 (USD 0.032) per liter.

(Sources: The Nation; 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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5   sourcing services

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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4   business incorporation   site selection

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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COMPANIES SEEKING AGENTS/DISTRIBUTORS/RESELLERS IN Thailand

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Lovinflame, Inc.

Taiwan, Republic Of China
Consumer Goods; Furniture & Wood; Others
Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam
Innovative Candles: Lovinflame’s Ceramic Candles are po...
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Crown Hardwood Co., Inc.

USA
Furniture & Wood
Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam
US Hardwood Logs: Cherry, Hickory, Hard Maple, Poplar, Wa...
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Visual Software Inc.

USA
Education; Medical; Others
Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam
We create, market and support products that allow various...
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