Thailand has come a long way in recent years, perhaps a lot further than what many people might imagine. The economy has seen steady growth over the last 25 years with this expected to continue at between 2.9% and 3.3% between 2016 and 2018 according to The World Bank.
This growth is certainly significant when you consider other countries in the region are experiencing slowing growth or are already a long way behind Thailand.
With ASEAN now in place, although the effects of which are yet to be fully experienced, you have to question the role that Thailand will play within the community. As always there will be doubters but when you think about it rationally Thailand is in a very strong position.
The country is blessed with natural resources, lots of large multinationals that have a presence in the country, the currency is relative stable whilst at the same time growing in strength and the stock exchange and retail markets are following in a similar fashion.
Labour is Thailand is not as cheap as some neighbouring countries although the workforce has a much higher level of skill thanks to better education and the influence of overseas companies. This will give Thailand an advantage over emerging nations as pay scales are still lower that some of the countries that may be perceived as being more developed. The government also offers attractive assistance to overseas companies in the form of BOI backing in certain industries – again benefitting the country as a whole and encouraging increased overseas investment.
Cambodia and Myanmar often make headlines for being growing forces within South East Asia and indeed this is the case but this should not take anything away from Thailand, a country that has already achieved these goals and is now striving to reach far higher targets and objectives. A few years of financial stability and continued growth, something that is predicted, will see Thailand move far in front of these developing nations.
With the infrastructure firmly in place, Thailand is now looking to make gains on countries such as Malaysia, Singapore and Japan. There is no reason why these goals cannot be obtained and this is what makes investing in Thailand at the present time such an attractive option.
It is quite reasonable to think that Thailand could become a dominant economic force in the region and as the country starts to show gains the markets and property prices will inevitably rise.
Therefore it seems perfectly possible that a country such as Thailand could become an economic force within the region and maybe this would be less of a surprise than many people might think.