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Exporting to Thailand


Actual population* Population world ranking
67,741,401 21
Actual GDP (PPP)* GDP world ranking
$673,000,000,000 25
Actual GDP (per capita)* GDP (per capita) world ranking
$9,900 120

*See the end of this blog for definitions

Thailand is a country open to trade opportunities. Discovering the market strengths and challenges are essential to the success of a company.

Market research, determining the best market entry strategies, and conducting due diligence are all crucial to finding out the best way to market products in Thailand. Companies need to carry out quality research in order to be successful. For example, market analysis, locating trustworthy local agents or distributors, and knowing how to find and keep customers are all part of this research. Visiting Thailand in person is highly recommended as an established presence shows a serious commitment to doing business in that country. Resources to assist a company, among others, include the United States Commercial Service, the United Kingdom Trade and Investment, and the Department of Foreign Trade in Thailand.

Knowing what is customary within the business culture is vital for success. Many business relationships start with personal relationships. In contacting a potential business, have a proper introduction to begin. The values of pride for country, reverence for tradition, and respect for age and authority are a huge part of the Thai culture. Knowledge of business customs include the proper way to greet people, how to make introductions, and the acceptable dress code. Business cards are an important tool to have available. Have them be bilingual including the company information in Thai. There are a variety of resources to consult for more information, including the United Kingdom Trade and Investment and the United States Commercial Service.

Standards, regulations, and custom requirements need to be researched. The Thai government has specific rules that need to be followed. The Thai Industrial Standards Institute is responsible for the standards within the country. To learn more about the import procedures, the Thailand Customs Department has information available.

Thailand is located in Southeast Asia and is a member of the World Trade Organization and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

Thai is the national language, but there are also other dialects throughout the country. While English is commonly spoken within the business community, a quality interpreter is highly advised to make sure the company’s product and position are properly understood.

In Thailand, the voltage used is 220V at 50Hz. Since there are several different plug patterns available within the country, it is recommended to contact your Thai customer to see which plug is being used.



Country comparison—Population: Population compares estimates from the US Bureau of Census based on statistics from population censuses, vital statistics, registration systems, or sample surveys pertaining to the recent past and on assumptions about future trends. (July 2014 est.)

Country comparison—GDP (Purchasing Power Parity): GDP (purchasing power parity [PPP]) compares the gross domestic product (GDP) or value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year. A nation’s GDP at PPP exchange rates is the sum value of all goods and services produced in the country valued at prices prevailing in the United States. (2013 est.)

Country comparison—GDP – per capita (PPP): GDP – per capita (PPP) compares GDP on a purchasing parity basis divided by population as of 1 July for the same year. (2013 est.)