Thailand

GDP (US$ Billion)

437.81 (2017)

World Ranking 26/191

GDP Per Capita (US$)

6,336 (2017)

World Ranking 88/190

Economic Structure

(in terms of GDP composition, 2018)

Services
(56.91%)
Industry
(34.97%)
Agriculture
(8.12%)

External Trade (% of GDP)

123.1 (2016)

Currency (Period Average)

Thai Baht

33.94 per US$ (2017)

Political System

Constitutional monarchy

Overview

Thailand has made remarkable progress in social and economic development, moving from a low-income country to an upper-income country in less than a generation. Thailand's long-term economic goals are laid out in the country's 20-Year National Strategy (2017-2036) for attaining developed country status. According to the plan, the country will seek to achieve this through broad reforms that address economic stability, human capital (not least through educational improvements) and equal access to economic opportunities, environmental sustainability, competitiveness, and effective governance. The sustained pace and quality of the reforms, particularly in promoting innovation in agriculture, as well as their sound implementation will be crucial for achieving the desired economic outcomes.

Sources: World Bank, Fitch Solutions

 

Major Economic/Political Events and Upcoming Elections

October 2016
King Bhumibol Adulyadej died after 70 years on the throne and was replaced by his son, Maha Vajiralongkorn. In December, Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn was proclaimed king.

 

April 2017
King Maha Vajiralongkorn signed the new constitution, drafted by the military. The army, led by General Prayut Chan-o-cha, took power in 2014 and suspended the constitution of 2007.

 

January 2019
Toxic smog forced the Thai authorities to close hundreds of schools in Bangkok as concern grew about a pollution crisis that had engulfed the city for weeks.

 

January 2019
The tourism ministry revealed that Thailand saw a record 38 million tourists in 2018 and expected to record the same year-on-year percentage increase in 2019. Foreign tourist receipts account for 12% of Thai GDP.

 

February 2019
Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya, a well-known figure on social media, withdrew from the running for prime minister after her brother, the king, denounced her candidacy.

 

March 2019
Thailand held elections, but it was not until May that the Election Commission announced that no party had an absolute majority. In June, the parliament voted to keep General Prayut Chan-o-cha as premier; as of early July, the formation of a new cabinet remained incomplete.

 

April 2019
A cross-border railway link was inaugurated for the first time in 45 years by the prime ministers of Thailand and Cambodia, and is expected to help economic development.

 

May 2019
As part of the government's Eastern Economic Corridor initiative, the cabinet approved a State Railway of Thailand deal for a high-speed rail project linking three major airports. The USD6.9 billion to build the rail link would be loaned by China Development Bank and the development consortium included China Railway Construction Corporation.

 

May 2019
The Revenue Department announced that it had been able to collect 2.4% more tax in the first seven months of the fiscal year 2019 (October 2018-April 2019) than its budget target and 6.4% more than the previous year.

 

June 2019
Mainland China's tech giant Tencent launched WeTV in Thailand, its first overseas video streaming service, as part of its diversification from its core gaming business.

 

June 2019
The 34th ASEAN summit was held in Bangkok, Thailand, and ended with the leaders of the regional bloc promising to work together more closely, most immediately to tackle marine pollution, and then to jointly bid for the 2034 FIFA World Cup.

 

June 2019
Somphote Ahunai, founder of the country's second-largest electricity generating company Energy Absolute, outlined his plan to dramatically increase the number of electric vehicles in Bangkok by 2020 and ease the city's air pollution. When the company unveiled its Thai-designed and built Mine Mobility passenger EV at the Bangkok Motor Show it received 4,500 orders (mostly from taxi unions) for a car that is cheaper than both the Nissan Leaf and Kia Soul EV. Mainland China's BYD has already stated it plans to deliver 1,100 cars to Bangkok in 2020.

 

July 2019
A report by Thailand's Electronic Transaction Development Agency revealed that social media commerce is booming in the country, mostly direct with merchants through Facebook and Instagram and propelled by mobile banking apps. According to Facebook, more than half of Thailand's population accesses their website every day.

 

Sources: BBC Country Profile – Timeline, Reuters, The Guardian, Thailand Revenue Department, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, Railway Technology, Bangkok Post, Thailand Business News, Fitch Solutions

Major Economic Indicators
Graph: Thailand real GDP and inflation
Note: Estimates for GDP start after 2017, but estimates for inflation start after 2018
Graph: Thailand real GDP and inflation
Note: Estimates for GDP start after 2017, but estimates for inflation start after 2018
Graph: Thailand GDP by sector (2018)
 
Graph: Thailand GDP by sector (2018)
 
Graph: Thailand unemployment rate
 
Graph: Thailand unemployment rate
 
Graph: Thailand current account balance
 
Graph: Thailand current account balance
 

e = estimate, f = forecast
Sources: IMF, World Bank
Date last reviewed: July 5, 2019

External Trade

Merchandise Trade

Graph: Thailand merchandise trade
 
Graph: Thailand merchandise trade
 
 

Source: WTO
Date last reviewed: July 15, 2019

Graph: Thailand major export commodities (2018)
 
Graph: Thailand major export commodities (2018)
 
Graph: Thailand major export markets (2018)
 
Graph: Thailand major export markets (2018)
 
Graph: Thailand major import commodities (2018)
 
Graph: Thailand major import commodities (2018)
 
Graph: Thailand major import markets (2018)
 
Graph: Thailand major import markets (2018)
 

Sources: Trade Map, Fitch Solutions
Date last reviewed: July 5, 2019

 

Trade in Services

Graph: Thailand trade in services
 
Graph: Thailand trade in services
 
 

e = estimate
Source: WTO
Date last reviewed: July 5, 2019

Trade Policies
  • Thailand has been a WTO member since January 1, 1995.

  • Since 2015, many tariffs between the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states have been removed (other members are Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam) as ASEAN moved towards customs unification. The rewards of lower tariffs within the area have been seen, with regional trade booming in recent years, especially as Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar are all Thailand's major exporting partners

  • Although Thailand has abolished most tariffs, this mainly benefits regional (members of ASEAN) investors and a few other countries with which it has free trade agreements (FTAs). Consequently, high tariffs in many sectors and non-tariff barriers such as licensing requirements and excessively burdensome import requirements remain an impediment to market access. Price controls and excise taxes, often based on an exceedingly complex tax structure, also negatively impact trade in some sectors. Thailand is not a signatory to the WTO Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) although it has observer status in the GPA Committee.

  • In May 2017, Thailand repealed the outdated Customs Act of 1926, and a new Customs Act BE 2560 (2017) came into force from November 13, 2017, that heralded a new era in customs and excise control in Thailand. The aim of the new act is to modernise Thailand's customs law, ease customs procedures significantly, introduce transparency and transform the Customs Department from effectively being a regulator into a facilitator of trade. Ambiguities in the present law were removed in order to bring the law closer to international best practices and more in line with Thailand's FTAs. Thailand has been a member of the World Customs Organization since February 4, 1972.

  • Thailand has bilateral investment treaties (BITs) with Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, the Belgium-Luxembourg Economic Union (BLEU), Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Mainland China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Jordan, North Korea, South Korea, Laos, Myanmar, the Netherlands, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and Vietnam. Three others are signed but not yet in force.

  • Thailand has double taxation agreements with 61 countries.

  • Thailand's improved position in the most recent IMD World Competitiveness Rankings was hailed by the Thailand Board of Investment as an endorsement of the government's Thailand 4.0 policy and the improvements made in the areas of training, technology and the regulatory framework. According to recently released figures, total foreign investments in approved projects had risen by 41% to THB74.9 billion from the same period in 2018.

Sources: WTO – Trade Policy Review, UNCTAD, Revenue Department of Thailand, ASEAN Briefing, Thailand Board of Investment, Fitch Solutions

Trade Agreements

Multinational Trade Agreements

Active

  1. Thailand is a member of the ASEAN alongside Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam. The ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) was signed on January 28, 1992 and entered into force on January 1, 1993.

  2. ASEAN-Mainland China FTA: The ASEAN-Mainland China FTA and the economic integration agreement (EIA) cover goods and services. The FTA for goods came into force on January 1, 2005, and the FTA for services came into force on July 1, 2007. The agreement aims to eliminate tariffs, encourage investment and address the barriers that impede the flow of goods and services. The ASEAN-Mainland China Free Trade Area was last upgraded in 2015.

  3. ASEAN-India FTA: The ASEAN-India FTA and the EIA cover goods and services. The FTA came into force on January 1, 2010 for goods, and on July 1, 2015 for services, with the aim of minimising barriers and deepening the economic links between the parties. The agreement will lead to the progressive elimination of tariffs on all goods.

  4. ASEAN-South Korea FTA (AKFTA): The AKFTA came into force in January 2010 and October 2010 for goods and services respectively. The ASEAN-South Korea Investment Agreement came into force on September 1, 2009. The agreements aim to create more liberal, facilitative market access and investment regimes between South Korea and ASEAN. A business council was set up in December 2014 to enhance economic cooperation between the parties and boost total trade to USD200 billion by 2020. Total trade between ASEAN and South Korea grew by 68% between 2007 and 2017.

  5. ASEAN-Japan FTA: This FTA covers goods and came into force on December 1, 2008. Japan provides a huge market for a wide range of goods. This tariff-free trade benefits a number of important sectors, including manufacturing, agriculture, mining and chemical production.

  6. ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA: The ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA and EIA cover goods and services. The agreement came into force on January 1, 2010.

  7. ASEAN-Hong Kong FTA (AHKFTA): Hong Kong and ASEAN began negotiating an FTA and an investment agreement in July 2014. After 10 rounds of negotiations, Hong Kong and ASEAN announced the conclusion of the negotiations in September 2017 and forged the agreements on November 12, 2017. The agreements are comprehensive in scope, encompassing trade in goods, trade in services, investments, economic and technical cooperation, dispute-settlement mechanisms, and other related areas. The agreements will bring legal certainty, better market access and fair and equitable treatment in trade and investment, thus creating new business opportunities and further enhancing trade and investment flows between Hong Kong and ASEAN. The agreements will also extend Hong Kong's FTA and investment agreement network to cover all major economies in South East Asia. The agreement came into force on January 1, 2019, but it will take time for all members of ASEAN to comply because implementation is subject to completion of the necessary procedures. Hong Kong is a key export market and the reduction of tariffs will ease the trading process. Hong Kong's potential as a key export market increases the importance of AHKFTA.

Under Negotiation

  1. Negotiations for a European Union (EU)-Thailand FTA started in March 2013. The negotiations aimed to conclude a comprehensive FTA in the short to medium term, and by November 2013 a partnership and cooperation agreement had been finalised, which provides a comprehensive framework for EU-Thailand relations and opportunities to develop cooperation. Further talks stalled because of the military takeover in Thailand in 2014. After Japan, the EU is Thailand's largest investor.

  2. Negotiations for an EU-ASEAN region to region FTA were launched in 2007. Talks were paused in 2009 to allow for bilateral FTA negotiations as building blocks towards a region to region agreement. ASEAN as a whole represents the EU's third largest trading partner outside Europe.

Sources: WTO Regional Trade Agreements database, European Commission, ASEAN, UNCTAD, Fitch Solutions

Investment Policy

Foreign Direct Investment

Graph: Thailand FDI stock
 
Graph: Thailand FDI stock
 
Graph: Thailand FDI flow
 
Graph: Thailand FDI flow
 

Source: UNCTAD
Date last reviewed: July 31, 2019

 

Foreign Direct Investment Policy

  1. The Thai business climate continues to be positive and welcoming to foreign investment, but local laws favour domestic companies in many aspects. All businesses operating in Thailand must register and obtain a foreign business licence from the Ministry of Commerce. Manufacturing firms must also register with the Ministry of Industry and the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare. There is a risk that government spending could crowd out private and foreign investors.

  2. The Foreign Business Act (FBA) of 1999 is the primary piece of legislation with respect to foreign business activities. In spite of some reforms, company ownership restrictions remain in place and foreign nationals may own 49% of a company while it remains majority-Thai owned.

  3. Certain types of business activities are reserved for Thai nationals only according to the FBA. Generally, foreign investment in these areas cannot comprise more than 50% of share capital unless specifically permitted. Some exemptions can be obtained, such as permission from the director general of the Department of Business Development, with the approval of the Foreign Business Committee together with obtaining a foreign business licence.

  4. Foreign ownership of wireless or mobile telecommunications services; banking, accounting, bookkeeping and auditing services; tax consultancy; agriculture and forestry; transport; tourism capped at 49%; mining, oil and gas and waste management and water supply is capped at 75%.

  5. Under the Land Code, the Condominium Act and the Property Leasing Act, foreigners are not allowed to own land in Thailand – save for government industrial estates or Special Economic Zones (SEZs). In addition, a foreign investments in excess of THB40 million are entitles the investor to own 1,600sq m of land for residential use with the permission of the Ministry of Interior. Rather than purchasing, many foreign businesses instead sign long-term leases and then construct buildings on the leased land.

  6. Under the Condominium Act of 2008, foreign ownership in a condominium building cannot exceed 49%. Property can be expropriated under Thai law, but the risk of asset seizure is low.

  7. The Alien Employment Act prohibits foreign nationals from working in 39 occupations and professions including but not limited to labourer, goldsmith, farmer, accountant, auditor, engineer, architect, among others. Additionally, companies need to have certain minimum amount of fully paid up capital in order to qualify to employ specific numbers of foreign nationals in Thailand. Other conditions include having at least fifty local employees per expatriate.

  8. Businesses that are wholly foreign owned and incorporated in Thailand in terms of Thailand's Board of Investment are allowed to employ foreign nationals provided there is a 4:1 ratio of local to foreign nationals employed.

  9. Thailand has a Seven-Year Investment Promotion Strategy (2015-2021) that aims to promote valuable investment in Thailand to overcome the middle-income trap and to achieve sustainable growth in accordance with the sufficiency economy philosophy. The six key investment promotion policies include support for the special economic zones, especially in border areas and those parts of southern Thailand in a way that will support efforts to enhance security in the area.

Sources: WTO – Trade Policy Review, ITA, US Department of Commerce, Fitch Solutions

Free Trade Zones and Investment Incentives

Free Trade Zone/Incentive Programme Main Incentives Available
Thailand's flagship investment zone is the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) built on the existing Eastern Seaboard industrial area. The EEC spans the provinces of Chachoengsao, Chonburi and Rayong, where Thailand's first industrial estates were developed. The Thai government wants to establish the EEC as the primary investment and infrastructure hub in ASEAN, serving as a gateway to East and South Asia. - Investors will be able to secure a land lease of 50 years, with the option to renew for up to 49 years.

- Enterprises located in Thailand's EEC are eligible for the following additional incentives:
  • An approval process shortened to three months.

  • An exemption from corporate income tax for up to 15 years for a strategic project.

  • Maximum personal income tax of 17% for investors, managers and experts employed by companies in target industries with headquarters and facilities situated in the EEC.

  • Possible eligibility for additional grants and incentives for any investment projects with a significant research and development, innovation or human resource development component.
The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) established 10 SEZs reserved for the location of 13 targeted industries to manufacture only in Thailand. These zones are located in Tak, Mukdahan, Sa Kaew, Trat, Songkhla, Chiang Rai, Nongkhai, Nakhon, Kanjanaburi and Narathiwas. In June 2019, the Thai government invited private sector companies to bid on the Port of Songkhla Improvement Project. - SEZs are reserved for the location of industries manufacturing for export only, to which businesses may import raw materials and export finished products free of duty (including VAT).

- Enterprises located in Thailand's special economic zones are eligible for the following additional incentives:
  • A corporate income tax exemption of up to eight years plus a reduction of 50% of corporate income tax for a further five years.

  • Entitlement to claim double tax deductions for the cost of transport, electricity and water supply expenses, and entitlement to deduct from the taxable corporate income up to 25% of the investment costs of installing infrastructure facilities for 10 years from the date of income derivation.

  • Exemption of import duties on machinery.
- Foreign ownership of land, foreign expert employment and permission to employ foreign unskilled labour.

Sources: US Department of State, Thailand Board of Investment, a Guide to Investment in the Special Economic Development Zones, Fitch Solutions

Taxation – 2019
  • Value Added Tax: 10% (7%)
  • Corporate Income Tax: 20%

Source: Thailand Revenue Department

 

Important Updates to Taxation Information

  • On March 14, 2018, Thailand's cabinet passed two provisional royal decrees aimed at regulating the cryptocurrency market. The finance ministry outlined new tax guidelines for the cryptocurrency market. According to Thai regulatory authorities, the measures taken are to protect traders from losing their money. VAT on cryptocurrency came in at 7% on all traders, while capital gains tax came in at 15%.

  • In November 2018, Thailand introduced specific transfer pricing provisions into income tax law, applicable on or after January 1, 2019. Thailand has 61 double taxation agreements (DTAs). On June 4, 2019, the Revenue Department announced it had signed a memorandum of agreement with the Electronic Transactions Development Agency to help to develop reliable and secure standards for an e-Tax invoice and e-Receipt system as part of its plan to improve the efficiency of tax collection and to encourage domestic entrepreneurs by reducing costs and increasing convenience.

 

Business Taxes

Type of Tax Tax Rate and Base
Corporate Income Tax 20%
Capital Gains Tax 20%; For personal income, most capital gains are treated as personal income with a few exceptions.
VAT - 10% normally but reduced to 7% until September 30, 2019, unless extended further.

- Some items are zero rated such as healthcare and basic foodstuffs.

- A decree passed in 2018 also introduces a 7% VAT on all cryptocurrency trades.
Petroleum Income Tax Petroleum companies under a concession are taxed at the rate of 50% of their annual net profit from petroleum operations; a production sharing producer is taxed at the rate of 20%.
Property Tax 12.5% of assessed rental value until January 1, 2020 when a new tax that came into force in March 2019 will be collected from owners of land, buildings or condominiums. The tax base value will be assessed by municipal administrations then collected at rates between 0.01% and 0.7% in the first two years and 0.15% and 3.0% after two years.
Stamp duty Stamp duty is levied on 28 different types of documents and instruments, including employment contracts and insurance policies. The rate varies by type of document, but ranges from THB1 per THB1,000 of value on most contracts and agreements to a fixed amount per instrument on most commercial and other documents.
Social security contributions Contributions, which are payable by both the employer and employee, are levied at the rate of 5% of the monthly salary of each employee, subject to a maximum per employee of THB750 a month.
Withholding Taxes The rate for non-residents is 10% on dividend income and 15% on royalties or interest unless modified by the existence of a taxation treaty.

Sources: Thailand Revenue Department, Fitch Solutions
Date last reviewed: July 5, 2019

Foreign Worker Requirements

Foreign Worker Permits

Prior to starting employment, all non-Thai nationals are required to obtain a work permit under the Working of Alien Act of 2008. Foreign nationals first need to secure an initial non-immigrant visa, which must be obtained before entering Thailand. The duration of the work permit is generally the same as the applicant's visa. Generally, work permits are issued for one year but are renewable. Foreign nationals are not allowed to perform work that is not permitted by their visa. To change occupations, they need to obtain authorisation from the Ministry of Labour.

 

Localisation Requirements

The Alien Employment Act (1978) prohibits foreign nationals from working in 39 occupations and professions (such as labourers, goldsmiths, farmers, accountants, auditors, engineers and architects).

According to the Employment and Job Seeker Protection Act (1985), companies need to have a certain minimum amount of fully paid up capital in order to qualify to employ specific numbers of foreign nationals in Thailand. Other conditions include having at least 50 local employees per expatriate. Businesses that are wholly foreign owned and incorporated in Thailand in terms of Thailand's Board of Investment are allowed to employ foreign nationals on a 4:1 ratio of locals to foreign nationals.

 

Visa/Travel Restrictions

In general, Thailand has an open visa policy. The country has bilateral agreements with a number of countries, which award preferential treatment to nationals of these countries in terms of the number of days granted to stay in Thailand visa free. These agreements give nationals from five countries visa-free access to Thailand for 90 days, six others (including Hong Kong and Macao) have access for 30 days, and one (Cambodia) for 15 days. A tourist visa exemption scheme grants nationals from 49 countries 30 days of visa-free access as well as being allowed to enter Thailand through a land border with a neighbouring country if required, rather than through the country's airports. Nationals from 19 countries, including mainland China, can get a visa on arrival, entitling a stay of up to 15 days, whereas only a few needs to apply for a visa before departing for Thailand.

As part of a policy to attract talent and technology from abroad, Thailand launched the SMART Visa programme which has five types of visa according to the levels of talent, skills and entrepreneurial start-up investment. SMART visa holders will be granted a maximum four-year permission to stay, exemption from the normal work permit requirements, and entitlement to additional privileges. The government has identified a number of targeted industries, including next-generation automotive, biofuels and biochemicals, and agriculture and biotechnology. An overseas applicant can expect to hear within 60 days whether they have been successful. A one stop service centre will endorse or extend the applicant’s SMART Visa during their stay in Thailand.

Sources: Government websites, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, Thailand Board of Investment, Ministry of Labour, Fitch Solutions

Risks

Sovereign Credit Ratings

  Rating (Outlook) Rating Date
Moody's Baa1 (Positive) 25/07/2017
Standard & Poor's BBB+ (Stable) 21/12/2015
Fitch Ratings BBB+ (Positive) 19/07/2019

Sources: Moody's, Standard & Poor's, Fitch Ratings

 

Competitiveness and Efficiency Indicators

  World Ranking
2017 2018 2019
Ease of Doing Business Index 46/190 26/190 27/190
Ease of Paying Taxes Index 109/190 67/190 59/190
Logistics Performance Index N/A 32/160 N/A
Corruption Perception Index 96/180 99/180 N/A
IMD World Competitiveness 27/63 30/63 25/63

Sources: World Bank, IMD, Transparency International

 

Fitch Solutions Risk Indices

  World Ranking
2017 2018 2019
Economic Risk Index Rank N/A 33/202 36/202
Short-Term Economic Risk Score 73.1 72.3 72.3
Long-Term Economic Risk Score 70.4 70.1 70.6
Political Risk Index Rank N/A 115/202 115/202
Short-Term Political Risk Score 70.8 70.2 69.2
Long-Term Political Risk Score 58.9 58.9 58.9
Operational Risk Index Rank N/A  58/201 55/201
Operational Risk Score 59.4 58.9 60.2

Source: Fitch Solutions
Date last reviewed: July 31, 2019

 

Fitch Solutions Risk Summary

ECONOMIC RISK

Over the next five years, the Thai economy is expected to grow robustly because the country's new constitution should provide policy guidance. We expect continued improvements to the business environment that will boost productivity, potentially including reforms of state-owned enterprises. Indeed the instalment of the new cabinet should prove to be good news for government consumption, which should buttress the wider economy; however, growth is seen easing in the near term nonetheless amid weaker domestic demand, and a challenging external environment and stronger currency weighing on exports and tourism. High household debt further clouds the economic outlook.

OPERATIONAL RISK

Thailand offers investors an operational environment with considerable advantages, which include a large, predominantly youthful, workforce with basic literacy and numeracy skills, increasing levels of foreign economic participation and trade, and a developed logistics network. However, significant risks exist, notably the ongoing separatist violence in the south of the country.

Source: Fitch Solutions
Date last reviewed: July 31, 2019

 

Fitch Solutions Political and Economic Risk Indices

Graph: Thailand short term political risk index
 
Graph: Thailand short term political risk index
 
Graph: Thailand long term political risk index
 
Graph: Thailand long term political risk index
 
Graph: Thailand short term economic risk index
 
Graph: Thailand short term economic risk index
 
Graph: Thailand long term economic risk index
 
Graph: Thailand long term economic risk index
 

100 = Lowest risk, 0 = Highest risk
Source: Fitch Solutions Economic and Political Risk Indices
Date last reviewed: July 5, 2019

 

Fitch Solutions Operational Risk Index

  Operational Risk Labour Market Risk Trade and Investment Risk Logistics Risk Crime and Security Risk
Thailand Score 60.2 55.7 67.2 68.5 49.4
East and Southeast Asia Average 55.0 55.9 56.8 53.8 53.6
East and Southeast Asia Position (out of 18) 8 10 6 6 10
Asia Average 48.2 49.7 48.2 46.0 49.1
Asia Position (out of 35) 8 11 6 6 17
Global Average 49.6 50.3 49.8 49.0 49.2
Global Position (out of 201) 55 66 36 39 101

100 = Lowest risk, 0 = Highest risk
Source: Fitch Solutions Operational Risk Index

 

Graph: Thailand vs global and regional averages
 
Graph: Thailand vs global and regional averages
 
Country Operational Risk Labour Market Risk Trade and Investment Risk Logistics Risk Crime and Security Risk
Singapore 82.0 78.2 88.6 75.0 86.3
Hong Kong 80.7 72.3 88.8 77.1 84.5
South Korea 71.8 65.9 71.4 79.8 70.4
Taiwan 71.8 65.5 76.2 73.4 71.9
Malaysia 70.0 63.9 73.6 75.8 66.8
Macao 62.3 61.7 66.5 52.1 69.1
Brunei 61.1 61.6 60.7 55.1 67.0
Thailand 60.2 55.7 67.2 68.5 49.4
Mainland China 56.3 53.8 57.7 66.2 47.3
Indonesia 54.1 54.4 53.3 56.8 51.8
Vietnam 52.2 47.8 56.6 55.6 49.0
Mongolia 51.6 56.0 53.8 40.9 55.6
Philippines 46.6 57.1 50.7 42.5 36.2
Cambodia 41.4 44.5 43.7 37.6 39.8
Laos 36.7 40.6 34.5 34.1 37.6
North Korea 31.3 45.8 18.5 28.8 32.3
Myanmar 30.9 43.9 31.9 30.0 17.8
Timor-Leste 29.4 37.9 27.8 19.6 32.3
Regional Averages 55.0 55.9 56.7 53.8 53.6
Emerging Markets Averages 46.9 48.6 45.4 47.4 46.1
Global Markets Averages 49.6 50.3 49.8 49.0 49.2

100 = Lowest risk, 0 = Highest risk
Source: Fitch Solutions Operational Risk Index
Date last reviewed: July 31, 2019

Hong Kong Connection

Hong Kong’s Trade with Thailand

Graph: Major export commodities to Thailand (2018)
 
Graph: Major export commodities to Thailand (2018)
 
Graph: Major import commodities from Thailand (2018)
 
Graph: Major import commodities from Thailand (2018)
 

Note: Graph shows the main Hong Kong exports to/imports from Thailand (by consignment)
Date last reviewed: July 5, 2019

Graph: Merchandise exports to Thailand
 
Graph: Merchandise exports to Thailand
 
Graph: Merchandise imports from Thailand
 
Graph: Merchandise imports from Thailand
 

Note: Graph shows Hong Kong exports to/imports from Thailand (by consignment)
Exchange rate HK$/US$, average
7.75 (2014)
7.75 (2015)
7.76 (2016)
7.79 (2017)
7.83 (2018)
Source: Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department
Date last reviewed: July 5, 2019

 

  2018 Growth rate (%)
Number of Thai residents visiting Hong Kong 571,606 2.0
  2017 Growth rate (%)
Number of Thais residing in Hong Kong 19,492 1.6

Sources: Hong Kong Tourism Board, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs - Population Division, Fitch Solutions

  2018 Growth rate (%)
Number of Asia Pacific residents visiting Hong Kong 61,043,576 12.0
  2017 Growth rate (%)
Number of East Asians and South Asians residing in Hong Kong 2,784,190 1.6

Sources: United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs - Population Division, Fitch Solutions
Date last reviewed: July 31, 2019

 

Commercial Presence in Hong Kong

  2017 Growth rate (%)
Number of Thai companies in Hong Kong N/A N/A
- Regional headquarters
- Regional offices
- Local offices

 

Treaties and Agreements between Hong Kong and Thailand

  • Thailand has a BIT with mainland China that came into force on December 13, 1985, and one with Hong Kong that came into force on April 18, 2006.

  • Thailand has a DTA with mainland China that came into force on December 29, 1986.

  • Thailand has a comprehensive DTA with Hong Kong that came into force on December 7, 2005.

  • Mainland China and ASEAN signed an investment agreement that came into force on January 1, 2010. Hong Kong and ASEAN signed an FTA and an investment agreement on November 12, 2017.

Sources: UNCTAD, State Administration of Taxation of the People's Republic of China, Inland Revenue Department of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Trade and Industry Department

 

Chamber of Commerce or Related Organisations

Hong Kong-ASEAN Economic Cooperation Foundation (HKAECF)

The main activities of HKAECF are to contribute to the fostering, promoting and facilitating of economic cooperation between Hong Kong and the 10 member countries of ASEAN ('1+10'), and between the ASEAN region and Mainland China ('10+1') with Hong Kong serving as a high value-adding and facilitating key international hub, bridge, connector, promoter and investor.

Address: G.P.O. Box 12779, Hong Kong

Email: secretariat@hk-asean.com

Source: Hong Kong-ASEAN Economic Cooperation Foundation

 

Thai-Hong Kong Trade Association

Email: thai-hongkong@thta.or.th / bangkok.office@hktdc.org

Tel: (66) 2 343 9008

Website: www.thta.or.th

Please click to view more information.

Source: Federation of Hong Kong Associations Worldwide

 

Royal Thai Consulate-General, Hong Kong

Address: 8/F, Fairmont House, 8 Cotton Tree Drive, Central, Hong Kong

Email: sthai01@thai-consulate.org.hk

Tel: (852) 2521 6481 / 2521 6485

Fax: (852) 2521 8629

Source: Royal Thai Consulate-General, Hong Kong

 

Visa Requirements for Hong Kong Residents

Hong Kong residents are permitted to stay for up to 30 days under the bilateral agreement with Thailand if entering via an international airport or through a land border checkpoint from a neighboring country. Since September 2018, Hong Kong residents have been able to use the automatic immigration service channnels when entering Thailand.

Source: Royal Thai Consulate-General, Hong Kong
Date last reviewed: July 5, 2019

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