In recent years, Thailand has joined the AEC, which is the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Economic Community. It is a way to promote economic, social, political and cultural growth across the country. The main purpose of this community is to move the region in Southeast Asia toward a global competitive market.
Between it’s 10 member countries, the ASEAN (The Association of Southeast Asian Nations) community produces a free flow of goods, services, skilled labour and investments . It includes Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand. The goal of the AEC is to establish a single market and production base to produce and supply goods and services throughout ASEAN. Each country must ensure that its products for export are globally competitive.
“Thailand is preparing for further economic success by creating the Thailand 4.0 plan. This plan seeks to transform Thailand by maximising the use of digital and other technologies to develop its infrastructure, transportation and digital resources that will drive Thailand towards wealth, stability and sustainability.”
Thailand is a booming business hub in Asia. It is a gateway to Asia because it lies in the centre of ASEAN. Business in Thailand continues to be positive and welcoming for foreign and international investments. Thailand has demonstrated remarkable economic progress and has experienced a Foreign Direct Investment inflow growth of 21% over the past six years. Thailand has more than 400,000 kilometres of roads and highways connecting to other regions nationwide and is continuing to upgrade the construction of new international roads, including Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia and Myanmar, in order to become a main hub of regional road connectivity.
In addition, more than 4,000 kilometres of the railway lines connect to the other parts of Thailand. It is building its first standard double track railway line which is a Thailand-China railway project to connect to Vientiane in Laos and Kunming in China. In future it is planned to reach further into Malaysia and Singapore. Moreover, high-speed trains are being built to connect to neighbouring countries. Trade transactions in Thailand are easier through the highway system and modern citywide mass transit, currently under construction. It will have more than 170 stops in the Bangkok metropolitan Mass transit system, international and domestic airports and the deep-sea ports.
Thailand has had a lot of growth in GDP during the past few years. If we compare Thailand to other countries in ASEAN, Thailand ranks as the second lowest tax income rate. Not only has this led to an increase in economic activities in Thailand but it also puts Thailand in a competitive position against others. The economy in Thailand has shot up by 1.3% in the first quarter of 2017. During recent years, it was $395.17 billion which is higher than all the other regions in ASEAN.
Thailand is preparing for further economic success by creating the Thailand 4.0 plan. This plan seeks to transform Thailand by maximising the use of digital and other technologies to develop its infrastructure, transportation and digital resources that will drive Thailand towards wealth, stability and sustainability. There are four principal areas of focus. Firstly, the digital economy will improve access to the national broadband network. Secondly, the government is developing the infrastructure focusing on the double-gauge track railway and high-speed trains.Next, agricultural reform is focusing on agricultural development. Lastly, local economic development is creating a value-based economy that driven by innovation and technology. The plan is also focused on targets which are developing the industrial sector by adding value through advanced technologies for automotive, electronics, tourism and medical, efficient agriculture and biotechnology and food innovation. As greater investment is made in Thailand’s infrastructure, now is the right time to invest.
Many thanks to Panumart for sharing her views. Panumart wrote her blog as part of the Kent Business School Summer School ‘Global Business in a Dynamic Environment’. Find out more about Summer Schools at the University of Kent.
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