The US-China trade war and the COVID-19 pandemic have reinforced to many businesses the importance of a diversified supply chain, and many of our clients from all over the world (including many from Asia) are shifting manufacturing from China.
This process predated the current US-China trade war, and many of the early movers set up shop in Vietnam, with the result that many Vietnamese factories are at capacity and costs are rising.
However, in nearby Thailand the business climate continues to be welcoming to foreign investment, with significant recent investments in infrastructure (new roads, ports, trains, airports) geared towards an export-driven economy. The government is strongly supporting the development of an innovation-based value economy, implementing broad reforms that address economic stability, competitiveness, ease of doing business, human capital development, environmental sustainability, and a more streamlined bureaucracy.
Thailand ranks 14th in Deloitte’s 2020 Global Manufacturing Competitive Index – ahead of every other country in Southeast Asia except Singapore, where costs are considerably higher. In addition, Thailand is Southeast Asia’s second largest economy, with a dynamic consumer market of 70 million people.
Establishing manufacturing facilities and a logistics infrastructure are complicated processes, and missteps can cost millions. Our deep knowledge of local laws and business and regulatory environments allow us to help our clients identify the most appropriate manufacturing model and operational framework for them in Thailand.
For companies considering an investment in operations or manufacturing in Thailand, questions we can help answer include:
- What ownership structures are permitted for foreign businesses?
- What are the tax implications of manufacturing and operating in Thailand?
- Are there special economic zones that offer benefits such as reduced tax and reduced land cost?
- Have some industries been targeted to receive additional tax and other incentives?
- Has Thailand offered incentives for companies relocating manufacturing from China?
- What does the U.S.-Thailand Treaty of Amity and Economic Relations (AER), originally signed in 1833, mean for American business owners/investors?
- Are there any special challenges to obtaining visas for foreign workers, e.g. executives and experts?
- What are the advantages of Thailand’s membership in the ASEAN Economic Community (a single market of more than 600 million people covering 10 countries in the region)?
Leading our team in Thailand are Matthew Dresden, Jenny Huang Thammapukkul and John DiDominic. Matthew helps American, European and Australian companies with their Thai legal issues. Jenny is our Thailand business advisor and has worked as a management consultant helping foreign companies optimize their operations in Thailand, advising on sourcing and cost optimization quality control and productivity/process improvement, as well as relationship management. John is Harris Bricken’s International Manufacturing Advisor and has more than a decade of management experience in Thailand. Leveraging decades of on-the-ground experience in Asia, John maintains a network of trusted specialist advisors to support the establishment and operation of businesses and manufacturing operations throughout the region.