The Report: Thailand 2017

  • ID: 4437445
  • Country Profile
  • Region: Thailand
  • 244 Pages
  • Oxford Business Group
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Thailand has benefitted from decades of rapid industrial development to become an upper middle-income economy, with GDP growth averaging more than 7% from the 1950s to the 1990s. Growth slowed in 2014, although political stability and solid macroeconomic fundamentals saw the country’s economic recovery continue in 2016, as GDP growth rose to a three-year high and export receipts increased. Manufacturing remains the economic mainstay, propelling the country forward on the strength of its automotive, electronic and agricultural exporters.

Looking ahead, the Thailand 4.0 economic development strategy will be a major driver of growth, with an emphasis on innovation and competitiveness. Forecasts indicate an anticipated GDP expansion of about 3.5% in 2017, buoyed by the strong promotion of new industries, high-growth areas such as the Eastern Economic Corridor, and increased spending on infrastructure development and expansion projects.

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COUNTRY PROFILE
Strength to strength: Thailand is rich in history and diversity, with sustainable growth forecast for the year ahead
Interview: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha
Promising path: Thailand focuses on social inclusion as it prepares for new elections
Interview: Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Ensuring stability: Thailand is ready to move forward following the constitutional referendum of 2016

ECONOMY
Investing in the future: Public funding is behind the push to support industries
Interview: Porametee Vimolsiri, Secretary-General, National Economic and Social Development Board
Supporting development: Additional spending fuels the drive to stimulate activity
Interview: Kalin Sarasin, Chairman, The Thai Chamber of Commerce and Board of Trade of Thailand
From the ground up: Small business is the heart of the government growth strategy
Attracting interest: Incentives to encourage foreign investment in targeted industries
Interview: Yol Phokasub, President, Central Group

TRADE & INVESTMENT
Out on top: Thailand boosts its robust surplus as it strengthens trade ties
Interview: Apiradi Tantraporn, Minister of Commerce
Powerful partnerships: Thailand works on securing profitable regional agreements
Interview: Hiroshige Seko, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan
Interview: Lim Hng Kiang, Singapore Minister for Trade and Industry (Trade)
Streamlining routes: Eastern Economic Corridor development opens up trade relations and promotes foreign direct investment opportunities
Interview: Le Luong Minh, ASEAN Secretary-General

BANKING
Bouncing back: Banks return to profitability through moderate growth
Interview: Veerathai Santiprabhob, Governor, Bank of Thailand
Interview: Chartsiri Sophonpanich, President, Bangkok Bank
Going digital: Government policies focus on advancing financial technology
Interview: Darren Buckley, Country Head, Citibank
Conservative growth: Traditional bank financing competes with bond markets

CAPITAL MARKETS
Rising star: Anticipated IPOs and a plan to diversify offerings will allow the bourse to grow
Interview: Kesara Manchusree, President, the Stock Exchange of Thailand
Make an offer: A significant number of new IPOs are expected in 2017
Interview: Rapee Sucharitakul, Secretary-General, Securities and Exchange Commission
The right note: The bourse hopes to boost and diversify the sector by offering structured notes
Centre stage: Recent efforts are focused on building a regional financial hub
Viewpoint: Chaipatr Srivisarvacha, CEO, KT ZMICO Securities Company
Interview: Pote Harinasuta, CEO, One Asset Management
Market analysis & data provided by KT ZMICO Securities Company
Key drivers: Domestic economic boosters are returning to the markets
Moving up: A positive outlook for the futures market

INSURANCE
Back on pace: After several years of volatility, the market returns to high growth rates of the past
Interview: Suthiphon Thaveechaiyagarn, Secretary-General, Office of Insurance Commission
Step by step: The market is steadily liberalising
Interview: Michael Plaxton, CEO, FWD Life Insurance

ENERGY & UTILITIES
Outside the box: Surging demand highlights the need for new sources of power
Interview: Anantaporn Kanjanarat, Minister of Energy
Tipping point: New bidding round awaited as exploration efforts wane
Interview: Piyasvasti Amranand, Chairman, PTT
Electricity without borders: Regional partnerships make up for limited domestic capacity
Interview: Areepong Bhoocha-oom, Chairman, Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand

INDUSTRY & RETAIL
Upwards march: With a raft of well-performing industries, the manufacturing sector is set to move further up the value chain
Interview: Kanit Sangsubhan, Secretary-General, Eastern Economic Corridor Office
Thailand 4.0: The country shifts its industrial capacities to be more value based and innovation driven
Interview: Roongrote Rangsiyopash, President and CEO, SCG
Interview: Markus Lorenzini, President and CEO Thailand, Siemens
Forward bounce: Thailand holds the top spot for rubber cultivation and the export of related finished goods, but trends may be changing
Stocking up: Food and beverage, health and beauty, and online platforms are key segments shaping the retail sector
Ready, steady: After a slower 2016, numerous developments are rolling out

TRANSPORT
Path to prosperity: Infrastructure improvements are at heart of plans to connect Thailand to the rest of Asia
Interview: Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, Minister of Transport
Making a connection: Collaborative efforts are needed to improve Bangkok’s transport infrastructure
Logical investments: Boosting transport and logistical links internally and abroad
Ship shape: The Laem Chabang expansion is part of plans to transform the port into a regional hub
Interview: Sombat Kitjalaksana, Managing Director, Bangkok Expressway and Metro
Interview: Usanee Sangsingkeo, Acting President, Thai Airways International

CONSTRUCTION
Storey time: Infrastructure investment is keeping the pipeline well stocked
A tale of two cities: The top end of the property market is thriving while the lower end is being squeezed
Interview: Naporn Sunthornchitcharoen, President, Land & Houses
Lap of luxury: Demand for high-end property remains strong, with prices reaching new highs

ICT
Well connected: The country continues to establish itself as the IT hub of ASEAN
A walk in the park: Campaigns have been launched to accelerate digitisation
Interview: Sanpachai Huvanandana, President, CAT Telecom
Fast Connections: Rapid development has led to intense competition
The master plan: Draft strategy answers some questions while raising others

TOURISM
Star power: A global and regional leader, Thailand is intent on maintaining its competitive edge
Interview: Weerasak Kowsurat, Chairman, Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau
Up in the air: Airlines are trying to increase capacity and improve standards
The China factor: Visitors from this significant market are vital to the sector
Interview: Leanne Harwood, Vice-President of Operations for South-east Asia and Korea, InterContinental Hotels Group
Check up: Revamping the medical tourism segment will help the country gain yet another advantage

EDUCATION & HEALTH
Learning curve: Despite a premium placed on learning, the sector has struggled to show positive results in recent years
Interview: Teerakiat Jareonsettasin, Minister of Education
Refined reform: A new change in education aims to improve previous reforms
Interview: Worsak Kanok-Nukulchai, President, Asian Institute of Technology
Interview: Dipak Jain, Former Director, Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration
Great expectations: The government seeks to provide greater coverage
Healthy alternative: Government initiatives seek to boost medical tourism
Interview: Virapatna Thakolsri, Managing Director, Biopharm Chemicals

AGRICULTURE
Driving force: Agriculture remains integral to economic growthInterview: Chatchai Sarikulya, Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives
Cultivating efficiency: Thailand continues to develop its prolific agricultural sector

TAX
In the details: A guide to the country’s major taxes and fees
Pay one’s dues: A summary of the most relevant and current tax legislation
Viewpoint: Andrew Jackomos and Paul Ashburn, Co-Managing Partners, BDO

LEGAL FRAMEWORK
Clear rules: Policies encourage investment and provide incentives for a range of activities
Viewpoint: David Lyman, Chairman and Chief Values Officer, Tilleke & Gibbins

THE GUIDE
In the spotlight: The Thai film industry focuses on attracting further investment
Comfort and luxury: A selection of hotels to make your stay more enjoyable
Listings: Phone directory of government and business organisations
Facts for visitors: Helpful tips for travellers to Thailand

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