Thailand is a strategically located country in Asia and as a result is highly regarded as a lucrative destination for foreign investment. Thailand is rated as the 23rd largest trading partner to the USA, with two-way trade between the two countries amounting to 25 billion dollars, at the end 2009. Thailand’s economy is mostly export driven, with exports accounting for two thirds of its GDP. It is also renowned as the gateway to the Southeast Asia group of emerging markets. As a founding member of the Association of Southeast Asia Nations, (ASEAN) most businesses find it easy to trade with major economies in the region like China and India. The ASEAN is made up of 10 countries, which has a cumulative population of half a billion people and a GDP in excess of 1.5 trillion dollars. Here are some of the major reasons that make Thailand a lucrative investment point:

 

Social and Political Stability

Thailand is one of the safest countries in Asia. Sure there are occasional petty thieves and petty crimes but it is generally a safe place to be in. They respect visitors/foreigners fully aware that their economy heavily relies on tourism and foreign investment. Thailand is well known around the world for its gracious hospitality, its diverse culture and scenic sites which make it a prime location for tourists to visit, all year round. The majority of people in Thailand are from a Buddhist religious background. The political landscape has seen a lot of turmoil over the past few years but is still a favorable country for foreign investors. The country is ruled democratically through a constitutional monarchy. Thai elections usually end up in the formation of a coalition government, rather than a single party majority.

 

Economic Growth

Its economic growth has held on steadily, despite the effects of the Asia financial crisis, which saw its GDP drop by 2.8% in 2009 but has since rebounded and seen a growth of 7.8% for the year 2010. This growth is due to Thailand’s abundant natural resources and a very skilled, cost-effective workforce.

 

Development of Infrastructure

Thailand was notorious for bad traffic in Bangkok. In the recent years, it invested heavily on infrastructure such as railway systems and new roads to support and develop investment opportunities, across the country. These infrastructure investments also include modernized transport systems, upgraded IT and communications networks, modern industrial facilities and contemporary business and living facilities.

 

Investment Policies for Foreigners

According to a report done by the World Bank, Thailand was ranked as the 12th most conducive business environment in the world, among 183 countries. This is due to the government efforts towards the promotion of foreign direct investments, especially for those industries concerned with the development technology, skills and innovation in the country. This has led to the establishment of well defined investment policies catered towards the promotions of free trade and liberalization of industries.

 

Government Incentives and Support

There are numerous government agencies, which support foreign investors. Most of this support is channeled through the Board of investment which offers tax incentives, import duty concessions, and support services. The Board of Investment also sanctions that there should be no foreign equity restrictions in the manufacturing sector, no export requirements and no local content requirements. This Board of Investment also coordinates the activities of government bodies designated with the duty of providing Visa’s and work permits, which enable foreigners to work in the country. Workers for BOI-promoted companies are able to process and obtain a Visa and work permit within 3 hours.

 

Modern Education and Healthcare Facilities

Thailand maintains high standard for its educational facilities, with most its exams accepted by international examining bodies. It also has outstanding universities and international schools which offer world class education. Its healthcare system is one the best, both globally and regionally, with many foreigners opting to go there to get medical treatment due to its highly qualified medical staff, modern equipment and relatively cheap costs.

 

One of the best things about Thailand is the balanced lifestyle you may have if you stay in the country. The may support the urban active lifestyle common to the West. There are pubs/bars, shopping malls, and shopping malls. In the weekend, you can drive or fly to experience their magnificent beaches. It is a country that gives you a living and a life.