Economy In Thailand

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Reviewed by Lief Simon

Lief Simon is the managing editor of Global Property Advisor, Simon Letter, and Offshore Living Letter. He has purchased more than 45 properties, investing in 23 different countries around the world.

Thailand's Economy

If you’re looking for a place to invest, visit on your travels, or possibly retire in, one of the best-kept secrets is quickly becoming one of the world’s hottest destinations.

The economy of Thailand has experienced incredible growth over the past four decades.

In the late 1970’s it was a low-income country with extreme levels of poverty and a low Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

After experiencing an economic boom in the late 80’s and 1990’s, and sustained growth ever since, Thailand has transformed into a high-income country with a GDP that exceeded 400 billion dollars (US) in both 2013 and 2014. With a rich past and an emerging future, consider Thailand a wise investment.


Formerly known as Siam, modern Thailand did not culturally begin to modernize until the 1800’s under British influence. Even then, it was primarily only the wealthy elite who benefitted.

The World Wars brought more exposure to the world, but also turmoil as Siam underwent a revolution and became Thailand between the wars.

It was during the Vietnam war that an influx of American soldiers, money, and culture began reaching the common Thai at a level that changed the country permanently.

Friendship with the United States and a move towards democracy and a free market economy in the 1970’s paved the way for economic advancement.

The economy in Thailand rapidly improved and became one of the most successful in Asia. Thailand’s economy and Thai economic growth is a true 20th century success story.

Overview of Economic Data

• In 2000 42% of the population of Thailand lived below the poverty line. In 2015 that number was down to 10%.
• Thailands GDP (Gross Domestic Product) exceeded 400 billion in 2013 and 2014.
• Number of students graduating from primary school and secondary school has steadily increased.
• Life expectancy and health care of Thai people have steadily increased over the past three decades.
• The amount of money that the average Thai citizen makes has increased steadily over the past four decades.

Economic Forecast

Thailand’s economy system is on the rise. The forecast and economic indicators point to continued and sustainable growth.

The major macroeconomic indicators including commodity and financial markets point to continued modest gains over the next three years and the potential for much higher returns.

In other words, Thailand’s economy is truly a marvel of the modern globalized system and there’s no cap on the potential growth.

Emerging markets like those in Thailand represent one of the greatest potential untapped markets for investors.

Economy In Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is one of the top 25 “Best Destinations in the World”. It is set to become a Creative City designated by UNESCO. It was one of the three finalists to host the World Expo in 2020.

In spite of the economic advancement in the region, it remains a handcrafts center.

Silk products, parasols, pottery, gold and silver work, and other quality crafted goods are one of the major exports of the region. Commercially textiles are dominant.

The capital city is a modern city that supports a wide variety of industries with great potential for growth and advancement.

Most importantly, the region contains beautiful landscapes and parks that make it a popular tourist destination.

Economy In Hua Hin

The Hua Hin district in Thailand is a center of tourism, education, and medicine.

An international kite festival and Cricket bring tourists flooding into the region each year. And, the markets and cruise ships are strong touristy events as well.

Plus, there are University’s and Research Hospitals in the region which make it a center of learning and bring people from around Thailand.

Golf is quickly becoming a popular attraction in Hua Hin. Several excellent courses have opened in recent years throughout the region, making it especially attractive to visitors and businessmen from the west.

Economy In Pai

Pai is a more remote region located in northern Thailand ripe with potential for growth and investment.

Once a small market village, the economy of Pai thrives on tourism. It is a popular destination for backpackers and hikers. It is full of inexpensive guest houses and restaurants that cater to this demographic.

Because of the influx of tourists, the region has benefitted from massive modernization and infrastructure upgrades in recent years.

There are several resorts, night clubs, and bars and the region have seen an infusion of investments from both western and Thai people.

Economy In Phuket

The Phuket province includes the largest Island in Thailand as well as 32 smaller islands.

The region has a rich history that includes an economy driven by tin and rubber and being a central location for trade between Portugal and the rest of Asia.

Today the economy bases primarily on tourism.

Phuket is one of the top retirement destinations in the world and thousands of expatriates call this region home. Its sandy beaches and temperate climate make it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Thailand and it continues to be developed and infused with money.

In short, Phuket is an excellent example of what to expect of the economy in Thailand.

A Fast-Tracked Economy

The Thai economy is experiencing rapid growth, especially through tourism and development from Western business leaders who often own second homes or retire in the country.

The prospects of the country continue to rise as improved infrastructure continue to make it an appealing investment. The economic history is one of sustained growth and the economic outlook is very high.

Plus, if you are looking for a place to retire, to visit in your travels, or to invest, Thailand is a safe bet with potential for incredibly high yield on your investment.

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