YCP Solidiance, an Asia-focused strategy consulting firm headquartered in Hong Kong, has published a report on “What You Need to Know Before Investing in Thailand: A short term analysis on Thai business landscape post-election 2019,” aiming to analyze the economic landscape in Thailand after its 2019 election and how the result will impact the business environment in the country.
Thai's economy during the military government was overall growing at a constant rate. Between 2008-2017, Thailand’s GDP and export value grew at 3.2% and 3.3% CAGR, respectively. During the Pro-Junta period (2014-2017), Thai’s GDP grew at an average rate of 3% YoY - relatively lower than some neighboring countries, yet is equivalent to the GDP growth of overall ASEAN countries.
However, in 2016, whilst other ASEAN countries recovered from the 2015 economic downturn, Thai’s GDP remained constant due to the rise in wages. This resulted in a loss of Thai’s competitiveness against its neighboring countries like Vietnam.
Although Thai’s economy experienced a slowdown until the election result was out, Thai businesses see no major impacts to the overall economy going forward. Levels of impact will be experienced differently among different types of business. The retail sector, for example, will be impacted by the people holding back their consumption on luxury and consumer goods due to ongoing political uncertainty. While on the other hand, law firms will be unaffected and able to run their business as usual.
The report further highlights the potential impacts that can arise after the election on both of Thai’s private and public sectors. Despite some risks and challenges imposed by the current state of the country following its election, many opportunities arise following the forming of the coalition government - including potential FDI inflows stimulated by the Eastern Economic Corridor mega project, and Thai as ASEAN’s manufacturing hub upon implementing Industry 4.0.
Find out more about investing in Thailand post-election 2019 in the full version of the report.