Thailand

TieflagThis guide is for those who are visiting Thailand to procure products but is by no means comprehensive and while the information detailed within this report is correct at the time of creation (January 2013), we cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies or discrepancies. 

Thailand is the second largest economy in Southeast Asia after Indonesia benefiting greatly from its abundant natural and agricultural resources. Famous for rice and products native to tropical climates including rubber, sugar, pineapple, tropical fruits, tapioca and seafood, the production and export of these products have produced substantial earnings for the country. 

An important movement in the late 1970’s saw Thailand’s industry being promoted, this was the driving force behind the modernisation of the economy with tremendous growth in manufacturing, technology and foreign investment. Although traditional resources are still important to the country’s continued growth, multinational companies have secured joint ventures with local partners to assemble and produce automobiles and vehicle parts, computers and major consumer products. 

A Financial crisis hit South-East Asia in 1997 when stock and property prices plummeted, dragging down the currency and leading the country and its citizens into a dark depression of bankruptcies, recession and unemployment. There has been improvements however since in the Thai economy with 1999 seeing a return to GDP growth with boosted foreign reserves, and improving economy and external debt. The national currency; Thai Baht has stabilised and currently both interest rates and inflation are at historically low levels. 

The kingdom of Thailand comprises of 76 provinces each of which are divided into districts, sub districts and then villages. The capitol city Bangkok is the epicentre of political, commercial and industrial activity. 

Thais are well known for their friendly and hospitable nature which is how Thailand became famously known as the land of smiles. 

To conduct business successfully with Thai people one must understand their deep routed faith of the Buddhist tradition and the values which they hold of great importance. For example the Family is the foundation for Thai culture with the oldest being head of a household which can hold up to several generations. This structure is reflected within society in which hierarchy and respect for elders is of utmost importance. 

When interacting with Thai business counterparts it is advised to act in a subtle manner. Thai people are known to prefer to avoid direct confrontation and criticism, if possible, with great importance being placed on the need to like their business partners. 

A visa is not required when travelling to Thailand for a period of less than 30 days as a tourist. Should you be visiting Thailand as a business representative then a visa is required which you can apply for online through Thailand’s embassy. 

Thailand has a tropical climate and so whatever time of year you decide to visit you will find the climate to be warm and humid with possible spells of rainfall.  This said the Northern region of Thailand is cooler throughout the year in comparison to central Thailand, including Bangkok of which has an average temperate of 20-22 degrees Centigrade (approximately 70 deg. F) in the cool season. Therefore you can understand why the cool season is when most people frequent Thailand. 

The south of Thailand in contrast has its own weather system due to its greater proximity to the equator but tempered by the surrounding seas on both sides of its narrowing landmass. Here there is no cool season, in fact temperatures at most only vary by 10-15 degrees between the hottest and coldest months of the year.

Official Season Clarification

Cool Season: November – February
Hot Season: March – May
Monsoon Season: June – October

Key facts: 

  • Capital: Bangkok
  • Population: 69,518,555
  • Area: 513,100 km²
  • Currency: Thai Baht
  • International Dialling Code: +66
  • Official Language: Thai
  • Main Exports: Textiles, Rice, Rubber, Jewellery, Automobiles, Fruits, Fishery Products.
  • Ports: Laem Chabang, Bangkok, Chieng Saen, Ranong                                         
  • Time Difference: London is -7 hours behind Bangkok

Top Tips: 

  • The English language is commonly used in business, however it is advised that you should try to use some simple Thai.
  • April and early May are the main holiday periods and so business trips should be avoided during this time.
  • Social invitations which encourage interaction with your business counterpart should always be accepted to avoid causing offence.

 Important Note: The information detailed within the contents of this website is to the best of our knowledge at the time of writing. We reserve the right to amend any information where we see fit.

This website may include links to third party sites and sources with which we have no involvement in regards the content.

Thailand

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