Situated in Southeast Asia, the Kingdom of Thailand exported $231.47 Bn worth of goods
globally in the year 2020. Thailand’s economy is highly dependent on exports, which usually
accounts for 60% of its GDP. The country itself is a newly industrialized nation, with a GDP of
23.41 trillion baht ($546 billion) in 2021, it is the 8th largest economy of Asia.
Thailand exports have grown from $193 Bn in 2010 to $245 Bn in 2019 and $231 Bn in 2020.
Thailand ranks at 25 among the top-ranked exporting countries in the world.
Thailand Major Exporting Partners
The country trade patterns have dramatically changed from the initial 1980s, where more
than two-thirds of its export earnings were attributed to agriculture and only one-third
would constitute manufacturing. By the arrival of the 21st century, Thailand’s agriculture
contributed around one-eighth of its export earnings and around one-tenth of its GDP, while
manufacturing contributed the most.
Thailand’s key trading partners include the United States, Japan, Singapore, China,
and Malaysia. According to the latest available information, 71% of the country’s products in
the year 2020 were exported to the United States 14.9%, China 12.8%, Japan 9.9%, etc.
Below table and graph show the top 10 exporting partners of Thailand in 2020.
Thailand’s main exports in 2020 were Industrial Machinery 16.4% ($37.6 Bn), Electronics
14.8% ($34.1 Bn), Vehicles 10.5% ($24 Bn), Gemstones with a share of 7.8% ($18 Bn),
Rubber and related articles 6.7% ($15.5 Bn), and so on.
Contact Startup in Thailand for a no-obligation, FREE Business Consultation about
Import and Export Opportunities
It’s well established that the machinery industry in Thailand is a vital supporting industry to
its manufacturing sector, and it also plays a crucial role in the country’s overall economy. It
could be seen by the constant growth of its machinery industries. In 2020, the trade value of
machinery and parts reached $37.6 Bn. Apart from that, continued regional economic
expansion contributed to Thailand’s machinery sector growth.
Thailand’s BOI (Board of Investment) offers several incentives both tax as well as nontax for
projects meeting the objectives of national development. The tax-based incentives comprise
of import duties exemption on machinery and raw materials, and exemption from corporate
income tax up to eight years. Non-tax incentives consist of permission for bringing in
expatriates, receiving or remitting foreign currency abroad and owning land. Recognizing
the significance of the role that machinery plays in the economic development of the
country, the BOI is offering attractive incentives and subsidies for starting a company in
Thailand which are engaged in manufacturing machinery in Thailand.
Electrical & Electronic equipment
Electrical and electronic equipment is among the largest exports sector of Thailand,
amounting to around 15% of its total exports. As of 2020, it is the largest exporter of
computers and related components in ASEAN. After China, Thailand is the world’s secondlargest producer of HDDs (Hard Disk Drives) with Seagate Technology and Western Digital
among the biggest producers.
With a total export value of $34.1 Bn in 2020, the country’s electrical and electronics
industry has developed and thrived for decades. The electrical and electronics sector hasn’t
just played a crucial role in its economy as the key growth driver but has also advanced
Thailand as the electrical and electronics manufacturing hub of Southeast Asia. Thai
government’s recognition of the role which the electrical and electronics sector has played
and is continuing to play in the country’s economic development provides attractive
investment opportunities in Thailand. The Thai government is offering incentives for
attracting major global players to start a business in Thailand in the electrical and
While the tourism industry in Thailand struggles to recover from a decline in overseas
visitors, Thailand’s auto industry is moving ahead and supporting the economy to bridge this
gap. Thailand’s value of automobile exports is projected to reach an all-time high in a couple
of years as the world economy reopens.
Vehicle manufacturing is the prime component of the Thai industry. With a total export
value of $24 Bn in 2020 compared to $27.27 Bn in 2019. Thailand’s vehicle exports have
flourished for decades. As per the customs data, these exports mainly comprise cars, car
parts, and accessories. Thailand is the fourth largest automobile export and assembly centre
in Asia and has the world’s leading car manufacturers like Ford, Toyota, Honda, General
Motors, BMW, Mercedes Benz, etc. among other major world players. It employs nearly
10% of the country’s workforce and contributes roughly 10% of its GDP.
Most of the vehicles that are built in the country are licensed and developed by foreign
producers, mostly American, Chinese and Japanese. The overall Thai market is dominated by
Japanese brands. The Japanese manufacturers in Thailand seem to focus on small, ecofriendly car production, for driving production and exploring further business opportunities
in Thailand. The Thai car industry leverages the ASEAN Free Trade Area for finding a market
for most of its products. The country is also the biggest market in the world for pickup
trucks with above 50% market share for 1ton trucks.
Thailand has experience of centuries in the gemstone industry under its belt and the country
has cultured a vast network of artisans and a robust manufacturing base encompassing all
the value chain phases from mining to retail sale. With its strong foundation in place, the
industry continues to play a vital role in the Thai economy, providing stable employment for
jewellery designers, merchants, miners and gem cutters.
Thailand’s gemstone industry continues to be one of Thailand’s lucrative exports with
products exported to markets all over the world. Thailand exported gemstones for $18 Bn in 2020. Owing to their reputation for quality, a major chunk of the gemstones and jewellery are exported to premier markets including Switzerland, the US, Hong Kong, and India.
Keen to bolster the revenue flow from this industry into the country, the Thai government
and several industry bodies are promoting the sector abroad and putting a concerted effort
to support the industry at home. The Thai government along with the Board of Investment
(BOI) are offering substantial financial incentives to companies starting a business in
Thailand in the gemstone trade, including exemption of import duty on raw materials such
as diamonds, gemstones, pearls, synthetic gemstones and various precious metals. The Thai
government also offers tax benefits on jewellery products through special trading avenues
like the Bangkok Gems and Jewellery Fair.
Rubber and Related Products
Thailand’s rubber industry has evolved significantly and diversified from small-scale rubber
plantations in the early 1900s to top rubber producers and exporters in the world. The
astounding growth of the rubber industry in Thailand is primarily attributed to its
abundance of natural resources, massive regional rubber consumption base, and enhanced
production infrastructure. As the demand for rubber continues to increase globally at a
steady pace, the Thai rubber industry is projected to flourish further, so does the foreign
investment in Thailand with top rubber suppliers in Thailand.
The country has grown to become the global leader as a natural rubber producer and
supplier in the last few decades — benefiting from advanced cultivation methods and its
tropical climate. Annually, the country produces more than 4.5 Mn tones of natural rubber
As per the BOI report, Thailand’s production of natural rubber has continued to
demonstrate a steady growth over the last few years with a growth rate of 5.81% per
Thailand is not just the global leader in producing natural rubber but also the global leader
in terms of global rubber exports. Thailand exported over $ 15.5 billion worth of rubber and
rubber articles globally in 2020. China is the largest importer of Thai rubber, followed by
Malaysia, the USA and Japan.
To further reinforce Thailand’s leading position in the rubber industry, the government of
Thailand has offered some strong and effective support. Additionally, to facilitate
cooperation among research organizations and enterprises for raising the level of valueadded rubber products, the government of Thailand has established a Rubber City in the
province of Songkhla, for serving as an investing and sourcing hub for rubber products
manufactured in the country.
Want to Start your Own Export Business in Thailand?
Looking for export business ideas, Thailand can be a major step towards success in your career.
There are ample investment opportunities in Thailand which can help have your own start up
business in Thailand. However, it is important to understand the local export and import market
and have a local startup specialist or look for startup advisory services that can help and advise
you. It’s also advisable to have a local business startup consultant who can introduce you to
Contact Startup in Thailand for a no-obligation, FREE Business Consultation
Source: Asian Correspondent
Located in Southeast Asia and home to a population of 70 million hardworking Thais,
Thailand offers various investment opportunities in Thailand and subsequently has been
attractive to recruiters. As an emerging economy, Thailand is considered to be a newly
industrialised country. Thailand is an anchor economy for its neighbours Laos, Cambodia and
Given the growth of digitisation, mobile data consumption and foreign investment in
Thailand, have paved paths for business opportunities in Thailand resulting in demands for
roles in the healthcare & life sciences, consumer & retail, technology, Internet &
telecommunications and professional services industry have soared, making it the most
lucrative industries among job candidates in Thailand today.
Thailand’s present economic instability due to the pandemic has impacted recruitment in
various ways, and consequently, recruiting leaders in Thailand are struggling to carry on
with hiring a quality workforce. Hiring in Thailand might be similar to hiring employees for
your parent organization. Still, you would want to be aware of probable differences so you
could shape your organization’s practices accordingly. Listed below are some of the
recruitment best practices you should follow while starting a business in Thailand.
Finding the Right Fit – Every role is unique and involves a different approach. It might be by
searching a database, proactive headhunting, advertising the positions or a social media
campaign. Employing this process, you can reach out to a maximum number of applicants
and shortlist the best candidates. With the Thai economy changing at a rapid pace, even if
you open a small business in Thailand you would look for candidates having a strong sense
of accountability, confidence and experience, and candidates that are agile as well as
flexible when faced with changes and challenges.
Local Language and Local Currency: Even if your employees have some English background
in school or college, you must use the Thai language in essential business communications,
especially crucial documents such as hiring letters and contracts. Also, it’s advisable to use
Thai baht for all the monetary items in these documents. These practices would ensure that
your new hires or prospective hires feel comfortable and can understand the important
details related to their employment.
Ensure established Processes: You would like to make a positive, impactful and professional
impression on your candidates, even if they’re located several time zones away. The best
approach is by using tried-and-tested processes. You should make yourself familiar with
various online interview platforms, and strategize about the pain points and topics that you
would like to cover with the time you have with the applicants.
Streamline your Scheduling Processes: Use the modern technology to your benefit so you
could schedule interviews with your candidates quickly and use the timed saved for more
pressing matters. Provide your applicants with an easy and automated way to log in for their
dedicated time slots and if required reschedule the interview.
Consistency: As you’re meeting your candidates remotely due to the pandemic, ensure that
you treat all of them consistently. Keep your interviews for each candidate of similar lengths
and try to ask every applicant similar kinds of questions. You might vary your conversations
for probing into your interviewee’s strengths, weaknesses and background. Still, you would
like to ensure equitable treatment to all your candidates as you would during in-person
Employment Contracts: One of the ways of staying compliant in Thailand when hiring is
through an employment contract. This contract could be written or oral in Thailand. You can
spell out the employee’s benefits, compensation, and termination terms in the contractual
agreement before they begin work officially. In Thailand, working hours can’t exceed 48
hours per week, and employees aren’t allowed to overtime beyond 36 hours per week.
Employment compliances in Thailand also stipulate that an employee gets at least one
holiday in a week. Specialist HR companies can guide you on this if needed
Understanding Talent Beyond CV – With a bigger pool of talent, it becomes even tougher as
well as important for hiring managers to appreciate talent beyond a few pages of resume to
certify a position is a good fit. Recruiters would require more information about talent much
in advance of making their initial contact. It implies they’ll require tools for better
understanding applicants’ needs and desires, along with their qualifications. It’s not about
just seeing candidates, but people.
Understand the Visibility of your Brand – A recruiter in Thailand need to understand that
brand of their company might be viewed differently or maybe unknown to candidates
outside of their local pool. A major employer in Bangkok may be unheard of in Chiang Mai.
Then, such a recruiter needs to understand that the internal drivers of a candidate in Chiang
Mai might be different from those in Bangkok. What persuades candidates in Bangkok might
not resonate in Chiang Mai
Leveraging Software in Recruiting – Leveraging software-assisted recruiting for going
extensive with opportunities while managing volumes of candidates, avoiding biased
decisions and spending valuable time to evaluate the right candidate. It’s the thing of the
past of having a pile of documents and requiring human manual labour to go through each
CV thoroughly as a step in HR operations. Recruiting software and tools today, reduce
workload and enhance HR productivity via computers or smartphones or as per the
convenience of the user.
Startup specialist Thailand – An alternative and effective way is to work with startup
advisory services. A reliable consulting agency will take on the legal, administrative, and
human resources work to hire new employees for your business, so you can focus on other
important aspects of your business venture. Because a good business consultant in Thailand
already has a well-established Thai presence. With a business startup consultant in
Thailand, you could start your business operations in Thailand sooner than if you go for the
hiring process by yourself in Thailand.
Contact Startup in Thailand for a no-obligation, FREE Business Consultation
Tips for Recruiting Candidates in Thailand
Avoid discrimination such as age and sex in job advertisements.
● Conducting background checks only with the prior permission of the applicants.
● Showing respect, the local Thai culture and environment and adapting to local
● Emphasizing branding as part of the recruitment strategy.
● Ensure to hire all types of workforce viz. skilled, semi-skilled as well as unskilled.
● Offering training and upskilling initiatives as required at different levels of the
● Employing modern technology for attracting Thai millennials.
● Reviewing the compensation package on an annual or a regular basis.
● Complying with ethical standards and ensuring to be a good corporate citizen.
Every business requires productive and efficient employees, and every large-scale
organization or even a start-up business in Thailand wants to ensure that they are hiring
the best minds in their field. This isn’t a simple task and requires a lot of work.
Regardless of how successful your business is, you’re going to have some employee
turnover, which might be due to unhappy individuals or poor performance. You cannot
control people leaving your organization; however, you could do your best in hiring the best
people for your business.
Always remember, average people will help you in creating an average organization. And
you wish to be the best in the industry. So, you should hire the best talent. Getting this right
can help you in creating the best place to work in the long term while enjoying all the
commercial success. Contact Interactive Recruiters for any guidance or recruitment needs.
Fastest way to make $1 Million in Thailand
Every business idea is good, if executed properly
Investing in a human capital is an absolute mandate for every CEO
What does it take for a startup specialist to be successful globally
Source: Asian Correspondent