The Kingdom of Thailand shares land borders with Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia. A newly industrialised country, Thailand’s economy is heavily dependent on exports. The second largest economy in southeast Asia after Indonesia, Thailand has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the world, at under 1%.
Bangkok, the nation’s capital, dominates the national economy – with over a fifth of Thailand’s population living in the greater Bangkok area. In recent years, the government has sought to reduce regional disparities in wealth by promoting investment in poorer areas.
The country’s main exports include machinery and electronics. Food, wood, chemicals and plastics are important exports also. In recent years China has replaced the United States as Thailand’s primary export partner.
Services accounts for around 52.4% of national GDP. Renowned for its natural beauty, Thailand is a popular tourist destination – the tourist industry accounts for around 10% of GDP.
Foreign investors should be aware that Thai law forbids foreign investment in a number of industries, including professional services, media, agriculture, land distribution, tourism, hotels, and construction. The country has begun to liberalise, however, and in 2014 the government announced the creation of Special Economic Zones in five regions.
HLB Thailand is a well established firm of financial consultants, tax advisors and accountants with offices in Bangkok, Phuket, and Koh Samui.