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Thailand's Economic Performance in 2018 and Outlook for 2019

Friday , 30 November 2018 ARTICLES

Thailand Economy

It’s been quite a year for Thailand. 2018 has seen the country’s economy scaling new heights, largely due to a governmental push for infrastructural developments as well as plans in the works for the nation to cement its position as a global digital hub. Traditionally an export driven economy, the 4th richest nation in Southeast Asia according to GDP per capita has also seen the rapid commencement of several major projects that will see the country prosper economically over the next several years.

The country is also projected to further elevate its status as an international tourist hub over the next several months. We take a look back at 2018, highlighting the many initiatives and developments that will contribute towards further growth across the span of the next few years:

Economy showing promise for 2019

It is undeniable that tourism is and will always remain a pillar of the Thai economy. 2018 has been no exception, with February of this year experiencing the highest ever volume of tourist traffic to the nation. When it comes to 2019, the country is projected to increase visitor numbers and spending, further building on its phenomenal success in 2018.

In terms of infrastructure, Thailand has been rolling out its plans for developing its eastern provinces into a leading ASEAN economic zone with a projected completion date of 2021. The Eastern Economic Corridor initiative will turn Chonburi, Rayong, and Chachoengsao into hubs for technological manufacturing and services, connecting the country with its neighbours by land, sea and air. This is a clear sign that the government intends to diversify its economy, making Thailand into a premier investment and business destination over the next several years.

The Thailand 4.0 initiative is expected to transform the country from past economic development models which placed more emphasis on agriculture, namely Thailand 1.0 (agriculture) Thailand 2.0 (light industry), and Thailand 3.0 (advanced/heavy industry). This will promote positive growth across several industries, boosting the country’s overall economy.

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Property market going from strength-to-strength

Due to the fact that the Thai property market grows on real demand based on broader economic factors rather than speculation, it poses as a relatively stable option for investors. Favourable economic conditions have allowed the market to see considerable growth in 2018, with developments in major cities experiencing higher take-up and occupancy rates. Occupancy rates have also kept up with the influx of new units, especially in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, where there have been remarkable increases in foreigners applying for work permits.

Thailand Infrastructure Development

The country’s property market is projected to continue its steady gains through 2019, due largely to infrastructural developments such as railway lines that are under construction that will connect the outskirts with major cities. The mega projects mentioned earlier will also add to the appeal for both foreigners looking for opportunities as well as locals that move to cities for employment, allowing the property market to remain buoyant.

With Thailand’s GDP predicted to experience strong growth well into 2019 – a clear measure of economic prosperity – now’s a better time than ever to explore investment opportunities in the country. Get the latest insights on Thailand’s investment landscape by subscribing to our newsletter.

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