Imports and Exports in Thailand

Updated on Wednesday 10th August 2016

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The key element of Thailand's economy is represented by exports of more than two-thirds of its gross domestic product which consisted of $1.107 trillion in 2015. At worldwide rate, Thailand is the 22nd largest export economy, according to Economic Complexity Index, but also the 36th most complex economy.  

If interested in Thai economy and how can an import/export business be developed here, our law firm in Thailand will give you more details regarding the subject.

Related to taxation system, numerous tax incentives are offered to foreign investors through the Board of Investment, depending on the activities to be developed. 
 

Thai trading relations with other countries 


Foreign entrepreneurs in Thailand will be attracted to open an import/export business here, since they can engage in this type of business without applying for permission from Thai government. Furthermore, goods may be imported independent of any restriction, since there is no worldwide law regulating the import of goods. If interested in starting a business here, our lawyers in Thailand will offer you further information on the matter.

On one hand, Thailand has strong trading relations with Asian countries as 63.8% of Thai exports by value are sold to countries such as China, Japan, Malaysia and Hong Kong. Another 13.1% are delivered to North American importers. As for exports in Europe, Thailand ships around 11.9% of them. Therefore, exports account for about a quarter of total Thai economic output. Most recent exports are led by computer (7.92%), integrated circuits, delivery trucks, cars and vehicle parts. 

On the other hand, top imports in Thailand of crude petroleum (14% of the total imports), integrated circuits (3.91%), petroleum gas, gold and refined petroleum is delivered to China, Japan, Malaysia, USA and United Arab Emirates. If you want to know what type of trading business will suit you best, ask for our Thai lawyers' counseling. 


License needed when trading in Thailand


An import license is required from the Department of Foreign Trade, when it comes to different goods that can become a threat for national security at some point (such as used motorcycles - possible danger for public safety or color printing machines - that can be used in counterfeiting banknotes). Foremost, the aim of this license is to prevent manipulating goods for illegal purposes. For example, an importer of chemicals and pharmaceutical products needs a permit from Food and Drug Administration, whose main goal is to protect national public health. 

For additional information regarding imports and exports and the steps you need to take in order to start a trading business in Thailand, please contact our Thai law firm

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