Dear Partners, Colleagues and Friends,

I find it difficult to believe that we are inching closer to the fourth quarter of 2020. This has certainly been a year for the history books!

We have no way of knowing what the next few months will bring, but I feel confident that Thailand and the rest of the world will quickly adapt to the circumstances as they present themselves. We have managed to usher in a “new normal” and I feel confident we will adjust to our “next normal” with equal measure.

Compared to many parts of the world, Thailand has been able to manage our COVID-19 response quite successfully. This is due in large part to our National Health System and strong network of hospitals and medical facilities across our country, even in the most rural of regions. I am not sure if you are aware of this, but Thailand is a medical tourism destination.ย  Our medical and life science sectors are world-class; factors that have contributed to our success in managing the COVID-19 emergency.

The World Health Organization selected Thailand and New Zealand to be the focus of a pandemic response documentary currently in development.ย  We are proud to be part of the project and recognized for the hard work and dedication our government, healthcare workers, and citizens put into our COVID response.ย  It was a unified effort!

The Bloomberg Misery Index 2020 ranked Thailand as having the least miserable economy in its annual evaluation of 62 countries. A combination of low inflation and low unemployment contributed to Thailand’s top ranking in the study.

During the past few months, we have seen the wheels of commerce begin to turn again and I am pleased to report that Thailand has seen a 7% increase in applications from foreign investors requesting tax incentives from the same period last year.ย  Also, applications for medical related businesses are up 174%, which we view with optimism. As companies have become adept at operating within the confines of this ‘next normal”, business seems to be getting back on track.

I am also pleased to announce that SUBCON THAILAND, has launched an online business matching initiative as part of the exhibition so that foreign investors can participate, even with travel restrictions. SUBCON will be taking place on September 23-26. (please see the link with more information below in this newsletter)

Last, but not least, Thailand has launched a new economic strategy, Think Resilience, Think Thailand.

The strategy is built on the four pillars of our economy; the diversity of our industries, our business ecosystem, which is strongly supported by government, our location at the heart of the ASEAN region and our strong manufacturing base which contributes to global supply chains.ย  -I hope to be telling you more about our resiliency strategy in the coming months.

As always, based in New York, my team and I stand ready to assist you with any questions you may have and to provide you with any information you may need about doing business in Thailand.

I wish you good health and best wishes for a safe and prosperous fall season.

Best regards,

Vorawan Norasucha
Director, New York
Thailand Board of Investment


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Thailand โ€“ A Market Embraced by Foreign Investors

Chris Knight, Chief Commercial Officer and Founding Partner, Wavteq

Thailand is known for fabulous beaches, amazing food and tourism, but there are so many more investment opportunities there which are being seized by investors.

Over the past 5 years Thailand has attracted an average of 165 projects per annum, according to fDi Markets, averaging nearly $7 billion in capital and creating over 35,000 jobs each year.

Much of this investment has come in the form of manufacturing projects ranging from Mitsubishi manufacturing vehicles to Samina Corporation (from California, USA), manufacturing advanced optical, high speed and radio frequency microelectronic products. The recent FDI successes of Thailand have been extremely diverse, and Thailand has also witnessed some success in FDI within sustainable industries. One example of this is the investment from Louisiana based company, Healthy Life Foods (subsidiary of AFT Holdings) deciding to set up their plant-based foods manufacturing plant in Thailand in a joint-venture project with Pattaya Food Group.

Interestingly, when analyzing the sectors which Thailand has been attracting FDI over the years we can see that Thailand has seen an increase in investment within automotive OEM, which bucks the global trend within the industry. The charts below showcase this in terms of jobs created and capital expenditure. This year shows that 44% of FDI jobs and 40.7% of FDI capital to Thailand have been within auto, which is a huge growth compared to previous years.


A few examples of the auto successes are:

  1. Mitsubishi’s (Japan) decision to invest Bt 5.48 bn to expand its manufacturing plant at Laem Chabang Industrial Estate in Chonburi.
  2. Volvo’s (Sweden) decision to build a new cargo centre in Bangkok. This operation will serve as a service hub to the whole of South-East Asia.
  3. Triumph Motorcycles (UK) decision to relocate their production of the Speed Triple and Tiger 1200 models of motorcycle from UK to Chonburi.
  4. Swag EV (Singapore) decision to open up an assembly plant for electric scooters to Thailand. Part of this will be relocating some of the capacity from China to Thailand. This operation will also serve as a hub for South-East Asia.

This move to attract electric vehicle manufacturing has not been accomplished by luck, the government of Thailand has been working hard to ensure the country is at the forefront of the electric vehicle movement. In August 2020, Thailand’s Ministry of Energy stated that it planned to have 1.2 million electric vehicles running on the roads of Thailand by 2030. The goal with this is to transform Thailand into the EV hub of the ASEAN region.

The overall catalyst to making this dream into a reality is The Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) who is the investment promotion agency tasked with bringing foreign direct investment to the country. BOI has 16 offices overseas from Shanghai to Los Angeles and are proactively engaging with investors and attending trade shows to showcase Thailand’s value proposition to investors.

Chris Knight

Chris Knight is the Chief Commercial Officer and Co-Founder of WAVTEQ. Chris has been working in the field of foreign direct investment and advising governments for over a decade. Chris is an expert in the benchmarking of locations, as well as analysing and interpreting FDI trends worldwide. Chris is also an expert on how to market and promote a location globally. Chris has worked with locations all over the world on a variety of lead generation and strategy projects.

As well as this, Chris is the SVP for fDi Intelligence in UK and USA, working with IPA’s/EDO’s with data products and GIS mapping.

Chris has worked with over 200 economic development organisations worldwide in all aspects of foreign direct investment including: lead generation, event organisation and management, best practice, investment promotion and location benchmarking propositions. Chris has extensive experience working in global markets including Asia, Europe, North America, South America, Africa and Middle East.

Chris is one of the most dynamic speakers on FDI and over the past 8 years has been invited to speak in many events globally on best practice, FDI trends and benchmarking. These events include IEDC, WAIPA, EDCO AIM Congress. Again, these have been global conferences, taking place in such locations as Dubai, Rio, Singapore, Cannes and Barranquilla, to name a few. Chris has run training workshops on best practice in FDI globally.

For more information about Wavteq, please visit: www.wavteq.com