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Thailand’s Strategic Location: Why It’s the Ideal Gateway to ASEAN and Beyond

August 15, 2023

Thailand is an ideal location for international expansion, as it provides quick access to both local and international markets in the ASEAN region. The nation offers enterprises numerous benefits for trade and investment, as a gateway to ASEAN and beyond.

Thailand’s Geographic Location

Thailand enjoys an excellent geographic position right in the center of Southeast Asia. Its boundaries touch Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia. Due to its close proximity to important markets like China and India, the nation has become a popular destination for international investors hoping to profit from the region’s expanding marketplaces.

Cities like Hong Kong and Singapore are only a short flight away.

Thailand’s growth as a regional commerce hub has also been significantly influenced by its location at the intersection of important sea routes.

Access to a Large and Growing Consumer Market

Thailand provides easy access to a sizable and expanding consumer base. With a population of over 70 million, the nation is one of the largest in the area, and its proximity to other important countries like China and India makes it a prime location for companies looking to expand their market share.

Excellent Infrastructure and Connectivity

Thailand has a well-developed transportation infrastructure, including modern highways, ports, and airports. This makes it easy for businesses to transport goods and services both domestically and internationally.

Thai ports like Laem Chabang and Map Ta Phut, which rank among the busiest in Southeast Asia, have played a crucial role in the development of the nation’s export-focused economy.

Bangkok offers a top-class airport and the city welcomes more visitors than any other city in the world.

In terms of telecommunications, Thailand has a highly advanced and reliable network, with 4G and 5G coverage available in most areas. This makes it easier for businesses to communicate and stay connected with their partners and customers both domestically and internationally.

And Thailand certainly offers a good quality of life for expat managers who are sent to work there.

Strong Economic Growth

Thailand’s economy is robust and stable. Thailand has grown into a desirable market for companies wanting to distribute their goods and services due to the country’s rising middle class and rising purchasing power.

Government Support (in particular through the BOI)

The Thai government is committed to bringing in foreign investment and has set up a variety of initiatives and incentives to help companies wishing to set up shop there. To assist companies in setting up operations in the country, the Board of Investment of Thailand (“BOI”) provides a variety of advantages, such as tax holidays, import duty exemptions, rights to own property and simplified visa and work permit procedures.

Thailand is becoming a highly desirable location for foreign investment and a center for multinational corporations looking to grow their operations thanks to these advantages.

Thailand’s Geopolitical Significance and Role in ASEAN Trade

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a group of ten nations with a combined population of more than 600 million and a gross domestic product (GDP) of more than $3 trillion.

Since ASEAN’s founding in 1967, Thailand served as a member and has been a major proponent of regional cooperation and integration. Thailand has actively participated in the negotiation of free trade agreements with significant trading partners and has been a steadfast supporter of the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA).

Free Trade Agreements

Thailand has also signed a number of free trade agreements with nations both inside and outside of the ASEAN bloc, including:

  • ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA)
  • ASEAN Economic Community (AEC)
  • ASEAN-China
  • ASEAN-India
  • ASEAN-Japan
  • ASEAN-South Korea
  • ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand
  • ASEAN-Hong Kong
  • Thailand-Australia
  • Thailand-New Zealand
  • Thailand-Japan
  • Thailand-Peru
  • Thailand-Chile
  • Thailand-India
  • The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP is the FTA between the ASEAN and Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea)

(Source: https://www.trade.gov/country-commercial-guides/thailand-trade-agreements)

These agreements offer preferential tariffs and duty-free access to markets in the region, making Thailand a prime location for businesses looking to establish a regional presence.

Thailand’s Work Force

Thailand offers a highly skilled and educated workforce and an increasing number of graduates in science and technology fields. This makes it an ideal location for companies looking to establish research and development centers or high-tech manufacturing facilities.

A Smart Choice for Businesses Looking to Expand

Thailand should definitely be taken into consideration if you are contemplating expanding your business to Asia, in particular to the ASEAN region. It is a valid alternative to mainland China, thanks to its advantageous location, pro-business legislation, and alluring investment incentives.

If you would like any legal or tax support with setting up in Thailand or have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected]


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