Thailand is the second largest economy in ASEAN and has a long history of cultural and trading interaction with India, currently assisted by India’s ‘Act East’ policy and Thailand’s ‘Act West’ policy. Thailand and India are supporting the development of a new maritime route in the Andaman Sea which will almost halve the travel time and will contribute to the Thai government’s objective to boost trade with India.
Thailand is transforming its economy by focusing on technology, innovation, and higher-value activities to move beyond its middle-income status. Despite having one of the strongest external accounts in the ASEAN region, the extent of Thailand’s economic integration with India has been minimal, mostly driven by large Thai conglomerates although over 95 per cent of registered businesses in Thailand are SMEs. Since 2014, the government has supported SMEs in selected sectors to grow and develop and many of these may now be at a stage where they are considering international expansion. India provides an attractive option whether through international trade or investment. For businesses that are ready for this step, it is important to consider the different types of opportunities such as exporting, importing, technology transfer, licensing, joint ventures, as well as inward and outward investment, in addition to the sectors that are historically more integrated with India and are considered priority sectors in government policy.
This factsheet provides an introduction to opportunities that are most relevant for international trade and investment but the PROFIT programme cautions that not all opportunities within the highlighted sectors will be successful, that not all successful opportunities will come from these sectors and that the opportunity and business do not have to belong to the same sector. So, if you are keen to consider internationalising your business please register and PROFIT will help you explore your opportunity further.