Thailand’s exports grew for the third consecutive month in January, in line with three major positive factors: the global economic recovery, increased prices for farm goods, and the elimination of tariffs under the Asean Free Trade Agreement, which is an import engine driving further economic growth.
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Doing business in Thailand
Recent crashes in Thailand’s GDP and export markets, plus the drop in tourism fuelled by recession and last year’s domestic political turmoil, have dispelled illusions that the country is insulated from the effects of the global downturn. Numerous indicators of economic health are hitting the red, foreign investment is evaporating, unemployment is surging, and credit lines are freezing up. Thailand’s government still says there is a possibility of positive growth this year, despite facing a rougher ride than in the 1997 Asian financial crisis as conditions infest the real economy on a broader scale.
These include both universal tariff reductions, which are applicable to goods from all countries, and specific tariff reductions that result from free trade agreements (FTAs) with other countries and regions.
Infrastructure plays a crucial role in economic development and enrichment of living standards. Various stages of economic development require different levels of infrastructure upgrades or enhancements to ensure infrastructure in fact facilitates economic activities. Thailand has been facing a series of infrastructure challenges, both new and well-established. To name a few: there is a need for infrastructure services to catch up with economic development and international competition, manage the growth in urban areas, respond to global energy prices, and ensure basic services for the poor.