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Thailand as a Market

The Thai market has changed significantly since the beginning of the 1990's, and today it is a stronger, more global economy with the ability to handle financial challenges with growth incentives, more international trade and less risk.

Demography

The population in Thailand is app. 67 mio. people. In Bangkok alone it is estimated to 10-12 mio. even though the official number is lower.

In the coming years the old age dependency ratio is expected to rise due to lower fertility rates and longer life expectancy. In 2020 it is projected that 20% of the population is more than 60 years old - this is more than twice the figure in 2000. There will as a result from this be an increased demand for helping aids to the service sector as well as medicine for age related diseases.

ASEAN

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was founded in 1967 by Thailand together with Indonesia, Malaysia, the Phillipines and Singapore. The association today includes 5 more nations. The once only political association was in 1992 expanded to a trade organisation with the agreement of AFTA (ASEAN Free Trade Area). Thailand is today one of the most prominent advocators for free trade and stronger economical integration in the region.

A single market, named AEC (ASEAN Economic Community), within the ASEAN nations including free movements of goods and people is planned to be realised by the end of 2015. AEC will be interesting for Danish and European countries as the development of free trade in the area will contribute to more business opportunities and commerce between ASEAN countries and Europe.

Thailand is a part of very promising bilateral and regional free trade agreements with ASEAN on the one side and heavyweights like USA, China, India and Japan on the other. There are ongoing free trade agreement negotiations between ASEAN and the EU, which will benefit Danish companies exporting to Thailand. Danish companies should also be aware of future advantages for goods produced in Thailand because of the free trade agreements.

Trade

Thailand has several advantages for companies who wish to outsource production or produce abroad. Among other things Thailand has - despite a relatively high level of education - low salaries and a well functioning infrastructure.

Thailand's growing middle class is promising from Danish exporter's perspective as there is potential for western goods and foods, and in particular Danish design.

Thailand is by the World Bank's 'Doing Business Report' regarded as one of the best places in Asia to do business only preceded by Singapore and Malaysia on ASEAN-level. The World Bank further concludes that reforms within property registration, protection of investors, taxes and international trade have improved the conditions for foreign investors.

Danish companies with the ambition to gain a foothold on a dynamic Asian market should on the basis of the above consider Thailand.

More information about the Thai market can be found in the menu to the left.

 

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Commercial Counsellor, Head of Trade Department, Peter Sand  +66 (0) 2343 1125, petsan@um.dk