Doing Business in Thailand | World rights group
[authors: Jessada Sawatdipong, Chisako Takaya, Arkrapol Pichedvanichok]*
In this new “Doing Business In” series, we asked our members about the current business climate in their countries, investment opportunities and what others should know about doing business there.
1. What is the current business climate in your country, including important political, economic and / or legal activities in your country that could have a material impact on businesses?
The global pandemic has affected some sectors of the Thai economy, including those related to tourism and real estate. The consequence of this has been an increase in debt restructuring work (particularly in relation to airlines). Investments in manufacturing and e-commerce remain strong. We are seeing increased interest in investing in real estate, including in the hotel sector. The Thai government is striving to become a high technology country and is encouraging investment in the so-called “S-curve” industry, including automobiles; innovative electronics; Affluent, medical and wellness tourism; Agriculture and biotechnology; Food; Robotics for industry; Logistics and aviation; Biofuels and biochemicals; Digital; medical service; Defense; and educational development. Given the incentives available, we expect further growth in these areas.
2. Which countries do you see the most incoming investments from? What about outgoing?
Incoming investments: Japan has traditionally been one of the top investors in Thailand, especially in manufacturing. We continue to advise Japanese investors on investing in a wide variety of industries. With the growth of e-commerce, interest in investing in logistics and warehousing has increased. In addition to Japan, Singapore and China are also top investors in Thailand.
Outbound investment: Investments from Thailand are usually made in Southeast Asia, particularly Vietnam. The Thai energy sector is one of the most active sectors for foreign investment. Other sectors are manufacturing, retail and hospitality. We are also seeing more foreign investment and financing from Thai banks in Southeast Asia.
3rd In which industries / sectors do you see the greatest opportunities for foreign investment?
In addition to the traditional sectors for foreign investment, including manufacturing, we expect investments in e-commerce, logistics and real estate to increase.
4th What are the benefits and pitfalls others should know about doing business in your country?
The advantages and pitfalls depend on the specific sector. As a starting point, we recently created a detailed guide entitled “Doing Business in Thailand”. Our lawyers regularly advise foreign investors investing in Thailand across a range of sectors and are therefore able to provide practical advice depending on the type of investment.
5. What is a cultural fact or custom in your country that others should be aware of when doing business there?
Thailand encourages foreign investment and therefore many foreign nationals live and work in Thailand. English is widely spoken in the Thai business community. Some aspects of Thai culture are similar to those of other countries in Asia. It’s important to think about building long-term relationships and showing respect, especially towards those in higher positions. As in many cultures, business relationships should be managed in such a way that there is no loss of face. Being patient is important regardless of the challenges.
*Chandler MHM Limited