At roughly 300 stores per million people similar to Malaysia and Singapore, compared to an average of 50 in Vietnam or Indonesia, plus online shopping, the Thai multi-brand retail scenario is comparable to that in the US or west Europe.
All its formats permeate the city: cash and carry usually wholesale, monstrous hypermarkets, supermarkets, smaller “express” shops, the ubiquitous “Sevens” and their main competitor, Family Mart, that dot almost every Bangkok soi. Big retail currently handles close to half the total value of a retail trade worth around $480 billion.
Wet-markets and traditional grocery stores account for the other half, but with a relatively lower rate of growth, this share is projected to fall.MNCs like Tesco UK and Grand Casino France—though curiously not Walmart—found an easy entry into the Thai retail ecosystem after the 1997 financial crisis.
FDI rules from the ’70s, when Thailand was under military rule, allowed foreign equity over 50 per cent, with a high discretionary element in permissions. Legislation in 1999—in the wake of the crisis—repealed that and permitted foreign firms to hold up to 60 per cent of equity, with a caveat to ensure there were Thai companies competing in the sector.
Thailand aims to push its games and content industry
After almost a year under the pandemic, the number of game players in Thailand rose to 32 million and helped the market generate over a billion dollars in 2020, according to NewZoo, an international analytics and market research group.
Thailand’s H1 Investment Applications rise 158% in combined value, BOI says
Japanese firms ranked first with 87 projects worth 42.8 billion baht, followed by investments from the U.S. with 18 projects worth 24.1 billion baht, and China with 63 projects worth 18.6 billion baht.
In the first six months of 2021, Thailand’s investment applications increased 14% from the year earlier period in terms of the number of projects, and 158% in combined value, led by increasing foreign direct investment (FDI) applications, sustained growth in target industries including the electronics and medical sectors, as well as in power generation, the Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) said.(more…)
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