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A Practical Guide to Doing Business in Thailand

The Thai economy has recovered in the aftermath of the 2014 military coup, regaining momentum in recent quarters on the back of stronger growth in public investment, private consumption and major service sectors. To yield more concrete results in stabilising the country, the Thai government has accelerated the implementation of national reform, including the Thailand 4.0 policy in modernising the economy, before the general elections expected in 2018. The IMF’s World Economic Outlook, April 2017 projects the Thai economy to grow at around 3% over the next two years.

Thailand is considered ASEAN’s third easiest in terms of ease of doing business, ranking 34th out of 138 economies in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2016-17 and 46th out of 190 economies in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2017 report. However, Thailand is facing a number of challenges, which include an ageing population, depletion of natural resources, a volatile external economy, and a workforce that may not be coping well with global competition and Thailand’s re-industrialisation needs. In its Twelfth National Economic and Social Development Plan (2017 2021), the first five-year tranche of Thailand’s 20-year National Strategy, the Thai government has set out a number of initiatives to overcome these challenges, with an overriding objective of transitioning to a developed economy by 2036. These initiatives include investment in education and job training, development of the financial sector, investment in infrastructure and logistics, and the development of the Eastern Economic Corridor. Under the Thailand 4.0 policy, 10 industries focussed on innovations will be designated as the new growth engines to help create a smart and digital economy, including next-generation automotive, smart electronics, biotechnology, robotics, biofuels, digital, medical and healthcare, and high-income and medical tourism.

The opportunities for Hong Kong companies to invest in Thailand are broad, with investment encouraged in the financial and business services and high tech industries such as aviation and renewable energy. This business guide provides practical information for Hong Kong companies who are looking to invest and do business in Thailand.


  1. Regulatory Environment
  2. Establishing a Presence
  3. Intellectual Property Protection
  4. Staff Recruitment
  5. Tax Considerations
  6. Import/Export Procedures
  7. Further Information

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