Our guide to doing business in Thailand
Exotic and tropical, cultured and historic, Thailand's ancient ruins and tropical beaches are a sight to behold and the capital Bangkok is the definition of a ultramodern city.
Thailand is the second largest market in ASEAN, accounting to 17% of ASEAN's total GDP. The UK is a one of Europe's leading investors in Thailand, if you enter the market with awareness and knowledge the rewards can be considerable but time is needed to develop the necessary business relationships.
The UK presence in Thailand is large with big investors including Tesco (their largest overseas operation), HSBC, Standard Chartered, Triumph Motorcycles and Prudential. It is also home to over 50,000 British Residents.
Benefits to UK businesses exporting to Thailand include:
- growing middle class
- well-developed infrastructure
- ranked in the top 20% of countries listed in the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business Survey’
- government’s pro-investment policies
- hub for accessing opportunities in Greater Mekong sub-region, including Laos, Cambodia, Burma and southern China
Strengths of the Thai market include:
- 50% of the world’s population within a 5 hour flight
- comprehensive infrastructure investment plan
- modern industrial estates and incentives from the Thailand Board of Investment
UK and Thailand trade
Top UK goods exports to Thailand 2013:
- iron and steel
- road vehicles
- electrical machinery
- power generating machinery and equipment
- medicinal and pharmaceutical
- specialised machinery
- general industrial machinery
- non-metallic mineral manufactures
- photographic and optical goods
Culture and Language
The English language is used commonly in larger Thai Companies, but in SMEs an interpreter may be necessary.
- never sit in a position where your feet are stretched out in the direction of a Buddha image
- take age, seniority and rank seriously
- use ‘Khun’ as the formal term of address followed by the first name
- always give government officials and VIPs a gift if they are the guests of honour at an official event
- avoid pointing with your finger at a person, or snapping your fingers
- never point your foot at a person or an object
- never sit with your feet up against parts of furniture
- have the reverse of your business card translated into Thai
Are you interested in entering the ASEAN market?
Our locally based market specialists can offer you support ensuring that you tick every box before you take the plunge.
Give us a call today on 01275 370 944