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Maximum levels of Corruption hitted Thailand in 2012
With a well-developed infrastructure, a free-enterprise economy, generally pro-investment policies, and strong export industries, Thailand enjoyed solid growth from 2000 to 2008 – averaging more than 4% per year – as it recovered from the Asian financial crisis of 1997-98. Thai exports – mostly machinery and electronic components, agricultural commodities, and jewelry – continue to drive the economy, accounting for as much as three-quarters of GDP. The global financial crisis of 2008-09 severely cut Thailand’s exports, with most sectors experiencing double-digit drops. In 2009, the economy contracted about 2.8%. The Thai government is focusing on financing domestic infrastructure projects and stimulus programs to revive the economy, as external trade is still recovering and persistent internal political tension and investment disputes threaten to damage the investment climate.
Base effects are expected to lead to an increase in inflation readings in the fourth quarter of 2009 and into 2010, but monetary policy is likely to remain accommodative. In the same way that the deflation in 2009 has not warranted a more aggressive monetary policy reaction despite the Bank of Thailand having a lower bound of zero on its inflation target, positive inflation in 2010 should not lead to aggressive tightening either, and the Bank of Thailand is not expected to raise rates until the second half of 2010 despite rising inflation readings.
The country’s well-defined investment policies focus on liberalization and encourage free trade. Foreign investments, especially those that contribute to the development of skills, technology and innovation are actively promoted by the government. Thailand consistently ranks among the most attractive investment locations in international surveys, and the World Bank’s 2010 Ease of Doing Business report places Thailand as the 12th easiest country in the world in which to do business.
Government support and incentives are provided for foreign investors in Thailand
Numerous government agencies support investors. Through the Board of Investment, the government offers a range of tax incentives, support services and import duty exemptions or reductions to an extensive list of promoted activities.
Companies receiving investment promotion privileges from the Board of Investment are not subject to foreign equity restrictions in the manufacturing sector, and there are no local content requirements nor export requirements, as Thailand’s investment regime is in total compliance with WTO regulations.
The Board of Investment also coordinates the activity of the One-Stop Service Center for Visas and Work Permits, which enables foreign staff of BOI-promoted companies to obtain work permits and long-term visas within three hours or less.
The BOI also administers the One Start One Stop Investment Center, which opened in November 2009 to facilitate a full range of services and streamline investment procedures by bringing representatives from more than 20 government agencies under one roof.
In addition to the activities of the BOI, other government organizations, such as the Department of Export Promotion and international chambers of commerce, provide invaluable support and a host of other important services.
Thailand’s geographical advantage favors transforming Thailand to be the energy hub of the region
The course of Thailand’s electricity industry development has set forth a goal of greater efficiency – both on the supply side and demand side. The aim is to ensure the optimization of energy resources and minimization of environmental impacts, with an ultimate goal of sustainable energy development. On the other hand, the industry has also had to properly adjust to economic and social changes as well as national energy policies and strategies over the past decades.
For some time, the government has encouraged more private participation in the electricity generation business in order to reduce the public investment burden and enhance greater competition in the industry.
In compliance with the national policy, EGAT established and listed the Electricity Generating Public Company Limited (EGCO), the country’s first independent power producer (IPP), in 1992 to mobilize funds from the stock market for its power investment, followed by the privatization of Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding Public Company Limited (RATCH), EGAT’s subsidiary founded in 2000.