At the recent ASEAN meet, the leaders of the member states of Southeast Asia as well their partner countries, including China, have signed into existence the ASEAN Economic Community. From here on, it’s an exciting time for Southeast Asia, including its most prominent contributor and member-state, Thailand.
What does the new Community mean for Thailand?
One of the salient points of the recently confirmed Community is a free flowing market consisting of skilled labor that can be exchanged between the member-states. This means then that Thailand can expect skilled workers from all over Southeast Asia to come applying for worker visas, provided that there are opportunities for them in the Kingdom. Theoretically, however, Thailand and its fellow ASEAN nations will open themselves up to free flowing international trade between themselves, and this will open up plenty of opportunities for people in the region who are looking for work.
The AEC had always been about the elimination of tariffs that made it difficult for traders in the Southeast Asian region to conduct business in any of the member nations of the Association. Thailand, fortunately, is already well on its way to eliminating these custom duties and could be considered as nearly ready for the free trade market that the ASEAN is advocating in coming up with the AEC. This will make Thailand attractive to investors who will want engage in trade in markets that Thailand has already opened up through the elimination of import tariffs.
Opening up one market for foreign investment will have a “ripple effect” on the economy. This means that one open market will also mean plenty of opportunities in the others. It will take a lot of words to discuss each market that Thailand has already liberalized with the elimination of customs duties, but look at it this way.
The free trade zone advocated by the AEC will mean an influx of foreigners who will be in Thailand for business. These people will, on the side, definitely want to experience Thailand as tourists. This will mean more opportunities for both the tourism and hospitality industries in Thailand. With the influx of tourism, other markets in Thailand will also see more opportunities like the services industry, the medical industry and others.
This means that you, as a foreign investor, has an opportunity to grab in Thailand. The AEC is still a work in progress, but it has seen a lot of progress already in Thailand. You should consider this as an opportunity to do business in one of Thailand’s numerous markets.
Of course, before you do so, you will need to get yourself set in the legal side. Contact an English-language legal advisor who is also fluent in the Thai language to help you out with the legal hurdles, and make sure that your investment does come into conflict with local law.