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U.S. Department of State 
Thailand Country Commercial Guide 
Office of the Coordinator for Business Affairs 
 
 
 
            COUNTRY COMMERCIAL GUIDE: THAILAND - 1996 
 
 
 
The Country Commercial Guide (CCG) presents a comprehensive look at 
Thailand's commercial environment through economic, political, and 
market analysis. 
 
The CCGs were established by recommendation of the Trade Promotion 
Coordinating Committee (TPCC), a multi-agency task force, to consolidate 
various reporting documents prepared for the U.S. business community.  
Country Commercial Guides are prepared annually at U.S. Embassies 
through the combined efforts of several U.S. government agencies. 
 
       TABLE OF CONTENTS 
 
I.     COMMERCIAL OVERVIEW 
 
II.    ECONOMIC TRENDS AND OUTLOOK 
       - Major Trends and Outlook 
       - Principal Growth Sectors 
       - Government Role in the Economy 
       - Balance of Payments Situation 
       - Infrastructure Situation 
 
III.   POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT 
       - Nature of Bilateral Relationship 
       - Major Political Issues 
       - Political System 
 
IV.    MARKETING U.S. PRODUCTS AND SERVICES  
       - Distribution and Sales Channels 
       - Use of Agents/Distributors - Finding a Partner 
       - Franchising 
       - Direct Marketing 
       - Joint Ventures/Licensing 
       - Steps to Establishing an Office 
       - Selling Factors/Techniques 
       - Advertising and Trade Promotion 
       - Pricing Product 
       - Sales Service/Customer Support 
       - Selling to the Government 
       - Protecting Your Product from IPR Infringement 
       - Need for a Local Attorney 
 
V.     LEADING TRADE PROSPECTS FOR U.S. BUSINESS 
       - Agriculture Sector Prospects 
       - Non-agricultural Sector Prospects 
 
VI.    TRADE REGULATIONS AND STANDARDS 
       - Trade Barriers 
       - Customs Valuation 
       - Import Licenses 
       - Export Controls 
       - Import/Export Documentation 
       - Temporary Entry 
       - Labeling, Marking Requirements 
       - Prohibited Imports 
       - Standards 
       - Free Trade Zones/Warehouses 
       - Membership in Free Trade Arrangements 
 
VII.   INVESTMENT CLIMATE 
       - Openness to Foreign Investment 
       - Laws Governing Foreign Ownership 
       - Board of Investment Incentives 
       - Conversion and Transfer Policies 
       - Expropriation and Compensation 
       - Dispute Settlement 
       - Political Violence 
       - Performance Requirements/Incentives 
       - Right to Private Ownership and Establishment 
       - Protection of Property Rights 
       - Regulatory System: Laws and Procedures 
       - Capital Markets and Portfolio Investment 
       - Bilateral Investment Agreements 
       - Labor 
       - Foreign Trade Zones/Free Ports 
       - Capital Outflow Policy 
       - Major Foreign Investors 
       - Embassy Support 
 
VIII.  TRADE AND PROJECT FINANCING 
       - The Banking System 
       - Foreign Exchange Controls Affecting Trading 
       - Exports: Methods of Payment 
       - Export Financing and Insurance 
       - Project Financing Available 
 
IX.    BUSINESS TRAVEL 
       - Business Customs 
       - Travel Advisory and Visas 
       - Holidays 
       - Business Infrastructure 
 
       APPENDICES 
 
       APPENDIX A 
       COUNTRY DATA 
 
       APPENDIX B 
       DOMESTIC ECONOMY 
 
       APPENDIX C 
       TRADE 
 
       APPENDIX D 
       INVESTMENT 
 
       APPENDIX E 
       U.S. AND THAILAND CONTACTS 
 
       APPENDIX F 
       MARKET RESEARCH 
 
       APPENDIX G 
       TRADE EVENTS SCHEDULE 
 
 
I.  COMMERCIAL OVERVIEW 
 
Overview of the Import Market 
 
Thailand is one of Asia's fastest growing, most attractive markets for 
U.S. exporters and investors.  U.S. sales to Thailand were nearly $4.9 
billion in 1994, up $1.1 billion or 29 percent over 1993.  The first 
quarter of 1995 was very promising, with U.S. exports up 43 percent over 
first quarter 1994.  Major economic indicators encouraging U.S. 
exporters include the continued rapid annual growth (8.5 percent) of the 
Thai economy, massive public sector investment in infrastructure 
development ($60 billion to the year 2000), and an increasingly affluent 
($6,000 per capita income in Bangkok and $2,400 nationally) consumer 
base of around 60 million people.  
 
Thailand's imports grew 17.8 percent in 1994 to $53.5 billion.  The 
Japanese supplied 30.2 percent of the market last year, followed by the 
EC with 15.1 percent.  The U.S. was third with 11.8 percent.  By value, 
the most successful U.S. exports to Thailand were integrated circuits 
and microassemblies. 
 
Commercial Environment 
 
Thailand has succeeded in developing an open market economy based on a 
free enterprise system.  Despite frequent changes in government, Thai 
leaders have pursued consistently conservative fiscal and monetary 
policies that have benefited the private sector.  Generally close 
cooperation exists between public officials and private companies.  This 
arrangement is assured through a balancing of interests among the 
military, bureaucracy, and private sector, with the Crown as the primary 
stabilizer. 
 
Although the government initiates and controls much of the public 
infrastructure through 65 state enterprises, private sector 
participation is increasing in such areas as telecommunications, 
transportation, and electric power via concessions and "build, operate 
and transfer" schemes.  Manufacturing and construction activities, the 
most dynamic aspects of the local economy in recent years, are firmly in 
the hands of private investors--both domestic and foreign. 
 
The Royal Thai Government (RTG) encourages free trade and foreign direct 
investment in Thailand.  The U.S.-Thai Treaty of Amity has long 
permitted U.S. citizens and businesses incorporated in the U.S. or in 
Thailand to operate under the same basic conditions as Thais.  The 
treaty exempts Americans from most of the restrictions on foreign 
investment imposed by the Alien Business Decree.  U.S. exporters and 
investors typically find the legal environment familiar in Thailand.  
Therefore, such tasks as executing a distributorship agreement or 
setting up an office in Thailand are not difficult.  Local lawyers can 
usually complete the paperwork quickly and easily. 
 
Major steps have been taken in recent years to reduce and simplify 
import tariffs, impacting positively on imports to Thailand.  However, 
as this country is among a select group of rapidly expanding markets in 
the world, U.S. firms will find the competition from local and 
international firms quite stiff. 
 
Major Business Opportunities 
 
Major industry sectors that current offer trade opportunities for U.S. 
companies are numerous.  Most promising are:  computer software and 
hardware; telecommunications; electric power systems; airport & ground 
support equipment; pumps, valves and compressors; process control; 
pollution control; food processing/packaging; franchising; defense; 
health care; chemical and plastics; travel and tourism; and construction 
equipment.  On the agricultural side, major opportunities exist for the 
sale of cotton, wheat, temperate hardwood lumber, soybean meal, 
processed foods, wine, and fresh citrus fruits. 
 
Major Obstacles 
 
In compliance with GATT Uruguay Round commitments, a simplified import 
regime will result in a system of only six rates and a maximum duty for 
almost all products of 30 percent.  Still, arbitrary customs valuation 
procedures constitute a real barrier to U.S. exports.  The Customs 
Department keeps records of the highest declared prices of products 
imported into Thailand from invoices of previous shipments, and uses 
these "check prices" to assess tariffs on subsequent shipments of 
similar products from the same country.  The overall licensing process 
also poses an import barrier on many food products because of its cost, 
duration, and requirement for proprietary information.  Inadequate 
protection for U.S. copyright, patent, and trademark holders has been 
one of the most prominent obstacles; however, gradual progress is being 
made.  Under current Thai regulations, only persons of Thai nationality 
may be licensed in many professional services, including accounting, 
architecture, engineering, construction management, brokerage services, 
and legal services.  Again, however, market access commitments made 
under the Uruguay Round should bring improvements.  Finally, lack of a 
double taxation treaty raises the cost of business in Thailand.  
 
Nature of Local and Third Country Competition 
 
U.S. firms must do what U.S. firms do well, namely, draw upon their 
marketing advantages and technical skills to compete against Thai firms 
and third country competition (especially the Japanese and Europeans).  
U.S. firms should choose their market niches carefully and constantly 
upgrade their product offerings.  U.S. competitive advantages currently 
include the ability to offer more styles and designs, newer models, and 
the latest technology.  American firms must continue to emphasize 
quality and customer service.  
 
Country Commercial Guides are available on the National Trade Data Bank 
on CD-ROM or through the Internet.  Please contact STAT-USA at 1-800-
STAT-USA for more information.  To locate Country Commercial Guides via 
the Internet, please use the following World Wide Web address: WWW.STAT-
USA.gov.  CCGs can also be ordered in hard copy or on diskette from the 
National Technical Information Service (NTIS) at 1-800-553-NTIS. 
 
II.  ECONOMIC TRENDS AND OUTLOOK 
 
Major Trends and Outlook 
 
Thailand's economic development policies are based on a competitive, 
export-oriented, free market philosophy.  Its economy is well along in a 
transition from an agricultural base to a more open and broadly based 
economy with a large manufacturing sector.  Annual growth in gross 
domestic product averaged over eight percent during the last decade, and 
just over 10 percent annual growth from 1988 to 1994.  Growth rates 
slowed modestly in 1992, to 7.8 percent, in part related to political 
unrest in May, 1992 which briefly undermined investor confidence.  
However, Thailand's economic policies have remained consistent through 
political problems and changes in government. 
 
The fundamentals of the Thai economy remain strong, and Thailand should 
maintain healthy economic growth for the foreseeable future.  GDP growth 
picked up in 1993 to 8.2 percent and rose further to 8.5 percent last 
year.  Thai GDP was $143 billion in 1994.  Per capita income was $2,423. 
 
Thailand's trade relations have traditionally been oriented toward 
distant markets, particularly those in North America and Europe.  The 
creation of an ASEAN Free Trade Area, agreed to by ASEAN heads of 
government at their January, 1992 summit meeting in Singapore, may 
contribute to more rapid growth in Thai trade with its ASEAN partners in 
the coming years.  Thailand has already implemented the first round of 
duty cuts on very high-tariff goods imported from ASEAN countries.   
 
Principal Growth Sectors 
 
Manufacturing: Since 1979 Thailand's increasingly diversified 
manufacturing sector has made the largest contribution to the nation's 
economy.  Real output growth in the sector was 11.5 percent in 1994 and 
is estimated to be 11.6 percent this year. 
 
Manufactured exports continue to be dynamic, due mainly to substantial 
growth in export-oriented direct investment and government policies 
which encourage exports.  Industries registering rapid increases in 
export production were automatic data processing machines, up 44.9 
percent, radios and televisions, up 53.3 percent, rubber, up 43.2 
percent, footwear, up 39.2 percent, and integrated circuits, up 27.5 
percent. 
 
Agriculture: Growth in agricultural production was flat in 1993 due to a 
lingering drought and low prices for many products.  The sector grew 3.6 
percent in 1994 and is forecast to grow 3.4 percent this year.  About 57 
percent of Thailand's labor force continues to be at least partially 
employed in agriculture, but the sector contributed only about 10 
percent of GDP last year.  While the sector remains important to the 
national economic well being, the relative size of agriculture's 
contribution to GDP will continue to decline. 
 
Construction: The construction sector was seriously overheated during 
1990 when it grew 22.7 percent; a sharp drop in the number of new 
project starts and softening rents, even in the central Bangkok area, 
slowed growth to 4.4 percent in 1992. This sector grew 8.2 percent in 
1993 and 7.9 percent last year.  A large increase in planned public 
sector spending for infrastructure projects may provide further sector 
growth, but questions remain as to how rapidly the government will be 
able to implement the new projects. 
 
Tourism: After disappointing results in 1991 and 1992 caused by the Gulf 
War and domestic unrest, the Thai tourist industry rebounded in 1993, 
when arrivals surpassed the previous peak reached in 1990.  In 1994, 
tourist arrivals fell by 7.1 percent, but revenue from tourism grew 
slightly to $5.8 billion from $5.5 billion in 1994 due to the stronger 
baht. 
 
Others: Output in the mining sector increased by 9.1 percent in 1994, 
owing to the expansion in quarrying and fuel minerals. The trade sector 
grew 7.6 percent and the service sector grew 6.2 percent. 
 
Government Role in the Economy 
 
The government led by Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai, which took office 
following free elections in September 1992, was dissolved in May, 1995.  
The Chuan government generally maintained the economic liberalization 
policy of previous governments.  It also addressed imbalances created 
through rapid industrialization by emphasizing rural development and 
reducing disparities in the distribution of income.  Thai economic 
policies have remained generally unchanged since the new government of 
Banharn Silapa-archa was elected in July, 1995. 
 
At the end of 1994, the Thai government controlled 77 state enterprises, 
mainly utility, communication, transportation, and other infrastructure 
companies.  State enterprises employed 322,521 persons.  Together with 
the 1.2 million civil servants in Thailand, public sector employment 
accounts for 4.4 percent of the workforce as a whole.  However, growth 
in government employment has stagnated since the 1970's.  The prestige 
of government jobs has waned and the better pay and benefits of the 
private sector have led to an exodus of the best trained civil servants. 
 
For the past six years Thailand has experienced a substantial government 
budget surplus as revenues were fueled by a growing economy while 
government investment expenditures for major infrastructure projects 
lagged.  In 1994 the government's overall surplus reached $2.6 billion, 
1.8 percent of GDP. 
 
Since 1984, the Thai baht has been pegged to a basket of currencies of 
principal trading partners.  The composition of the basket is a closely 
guarded secret, but the U.S. dollar appears to represent well over half 
of the value of the basket.  The Exchange Equalization Fund, chaired by 
a Deputy Governor of the Bank of Thailand, determines the exchange value 
of the baht each working day. There is no parallel market in Thailand.  
Global currency realignments since 1985, and especially the recent 
appreciation of the Japanese yen, have tended to make U.S. exports to 
Thailand more price competitive.  The average annual baht/dollar 
exchange rate has varied in a narrow range around 25 baht to the dollar 
since 1987.  The baht had appreciated to about 24.7 to the dollar by 
mid-1995. 
 
In recent years, the Thai government has implemented a series of 
measures to liberalize the foreign exchange control regime.  It accepted 
the obligations of the International Monetary Fund's Article VIII in 
1991, reducing restrictions on international transactions.  Commercial 
banks were given permission to process all foreign exchange transactions 
and substantial increases were allowed in the ceiling on money transfers 
not requiring Bank of Thailand pre-approval and on spending by Thai 
tourists and business persons abroad.  Foreign exchange reporting 
requirements have been simplified.  Banks offer foreign currency 
accounts to individuals and businesses.  The central bank also raised 
limits on Thai capital transfers abroad and allowed free repatriation 
(net of taxes) of investment funds, dividends, profits and loan 
payments.  It allowed exports to be paid for in baht without prior 
permission, and companies to transfer foreign exchange between 
subsidiaries without having to change those funds into baht. 
 
Balance of Payments 
 
Thai exports grew by 21.3 percent in 1994 to $44.5 billion.  This was a 
landmark for Thailand, as exports exceeded one trillion baht for the 
first time.  Import growth was also up strongly at 17.8 percent, to 
$53.5 billion.  The merchandise trade deficit grew to $9.1 billion and 
the current account deficit rose to $8.5 billion, 5.9 percent of GDP. 
 
The capital account recorded a surplus of $14.1 billion, mostly private 
net capital inflows and almost entirely bank financing ($13.3 billion).  
Non-bank flows were foreign direct investment ($594 million) and non-
bank sector loans of $819 million. Portfolio investment showed net 
outflows in 1994 of $409 million. 
 
The overall balance of payments surplus was $4.2 billion.  Official 
reserves ended 1994 at $30.3 billion, equivalent to about seven months 
of imports, up from the 1993 level of $25.4 billion.  Total debt 
outstanding was $54.1 billion, $15.8 billion of which was public debt.  
The total debt service ratio was 10.6 percent. 
 
Infrastructure Situation 
 
Rapid growth has had some drawbacks.  Infrastructure bottlenecks remain 
a problem and environmental degradation has worsened considerably in 
recent years.  Thailand's infrastructure bottlenecks and shortages of 
skilled personnel will limit the pace of future growth.  Metropolitan 
Bangkok's public works (communications facilities, ports, electricity 
grid, and - particularly - roads and mass transit) are already overtaxed 
and will come under increasing pressure.  The level of education of the 
workforce will have to be raised to maintain Thailand's development pace 
and competitiveness with neighboring countries with lower wage rates. 
 
The need to improve Thailand's infrastructure is broadly recognized.  
Thailand will spend more than $60 billion in the balance of this decade 
on infrastructure, with $30 billion on expanded electrical generating 
capacity.  In addition to building electric power plants, other major 
projects being implemented are two new oil refineries and petrochemical 
facilities, a second Bangkok international airport, six million new 
telephone lines, mass transit systems for Bangkok and regional centers, 
new rail and highway development and expansions, new ports development 
and expansions, development of a new central government administrative 
city, and solid waste and waste water treatment centers for Bangkok and 
provincial cities. 
 
III.  POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT 
 
Nature of Bilateral Relationship 
 
U.S.-Thai relations are excellent.  Thailand is one of five U.S. treaty 
allies in Asia.  Strong American support for democracy, especially after 
the May, 1992 political upheavals, has been well-received in Thailand.  
Trade issues, ranging from protection of copyrights to worker rights, 
dominate the bilateral agenda. 
 
Major Political Issues 
 
The recent government of Chuan Leekpai devoted much effort to nurturing 
democratic institutions, including working with the military (long a 
force in Thai politics) to identify an appropriate role in the post-Cold 
War world.  Policy priorities of the Chuan government included meeting 
basic economic needs and developing rural areas.  While the Chuan 
government was criticized for the slowness of its decision-making, it 
was generally regarded as honest and friendly to business.  The 
succeeding government of Banharn Silapa-archa has adopted this approach 
as well. 
 
The U.S. government has been pressing for improvements in Thai 
protection of intellectual property rights, particularly protection of 
computer software, and enforcement against violators.  The goal is to 
encourage Thailand to raise protection of intellectual property up to 
international levels.  A new copyright law was enacted in March, 1995.  
Enforcement of existing laws and regulations has generally improved.  
Progress on IPR issues was sufficient for Thailand to be removed from  
the USTR's Priority Watch List.  However, this issue is likely to be an 
area of continued discussion between the Thai and U.S. governments. 
 
The United States has also sought improvements in Thailand's protection 
of internationally recognized worker rights.  Other concerns are child 
labor abuse, workplace safety, and restrictions on public sector 
employees' freedom of association and collective bargaining rights. 
 
Political System 
 
Thailand is a constitutional monarchy with a Westminster-style 
parliament.  Elections must be held every four years, but may be called 
more frequently.  The Prime Minister must be an elected member of 
parliament.  Political parties are not usually ideologically oriented.  
In nearly every case, they are formed around a key figure, usually the 
party leader.  Thailand's political orientation is moderate to 
conservative, and all political parties support a free market system.   
 
On May 19, 1995, Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai dissolved Parliament after 
one of the parties in his five-party coalition withdrew from the 
government.  During its two and one-half years in office, the Chuan 
government restored domestic and foreign economic confidence in Thailand 
through its pro-democracy and pro-market stances.  General elections 
that were held on July 2, 1995 resulted in continuity for Thailand's 
economy and its investment climate.  
 
IV.  MARKETING U.S. PRODUCTS AND SERVICES 
 
Distribution and Sales Channels 
 
There are three main channels of distribution available to U.S. 
exporters.  The first includes large, well-established trading companies 
with strong financial resources and sales volumes, as well as an 
extensive presence in many industrial sectors.  This category includes 
many Japanese trading companies, as well as the Thai organization, Berli 
Juker, the U.S. firm, Louis T. Leonowens, and European trading companies 
such as B. Grimm, Diethelm, East Asiatic Company, FE Zuellig, and 
Inchcape.  In many cases, these large traders form marketing or 
production joint ventures with foreign firms when import volumes reach a 
sufficient level to justify local investment.  Where the market is 
highly specialized (eg. defense), however, these large 
import/distribution companies often shy away from direct involvement, 
preferring to rely on sub-dealers or agents who possess the requisite 
contacts or expertise. 
 
The second available channel is precisely these smaller importers who 
generally specialize in one line of business in which they have proven 
networks and market know-how.  The third channel consists of start-up 
companies that are just learning the ropes of the import/distribution 
business. 
 
Use of Agents/Distributors - Finding a Partner 
 
Agreements between foreign suppliers and local agents/distributors are 
governed by the general contract law under the Thailand Civil and 
Commercial Code.  The relationship between the two parties is basically 
a buyer-seller relationship under a sale of goods contract.  Under the 
Thai Revenue Code, this arrangement avoids any tax liability for the 
supplier.  Importers must obtain licenses for products such as 
foodstuffs, certain pharmaceuticals, and chemicals.  It is the 
responsibility of the local agent or distributor to apply for any 
necessary licenses. 
 
New market entrants should appoint an established agent/distributor with 
good local contacts, market expertise, and technical know-how.  U.S. 
exporters must invest sufficient time in selecting a qualified agent and 
providing training for marketing and technical support staff.  Frequent 
contact with local representatives is critical, especially at the 
outset, in order to build a good working relationship based on shared 
values and goals.   
 
The U.S. Commercial Service and the Foreign Agricultural Services at the 
American Embassy in Bangkok can provide valuable assistance in locating 
potential representatives and acquiring preliminary market data.  Staff 
at both offices know many reputable local consultants who are qualified 
to design market entry strategies and to recommend local business 
partners.  Depending on the extent of service and whether extensive 
market research is included or not, U.S. firms can expect to pay an 
average of $10,000 to $40,000 for local consulting projects. 
 
Franchising 
 
Many of the leading U.S. fast food franchisers are already firmly 
established in Thailand.  In other industries, however, few U.S. or 
third country franchises currently exist.  Thais are increasingly 
receptive to the idea of franchising both as customers and as business 
partners.  Thai incomes are increasing rapidly ($6,000 per capita in 
Bangkok) and many consumers prefer popular American brands.  Thai 
investors are interested in negotiating with franchisers about potential 
deals, but are naturally concerned about lengthy payback periods and 
high franchise fees, especially when it comes to lesser known U.S. 
franchises. 
 
The best way to tap opportunities in franchising is via joint venture 
agreements, which allow the franchiser to retain considerable control 
while ensuring uniformity of product and service.  A joint venture also 
provides the franchisee with greater security because the business and 
financial risks are being shared.  Currently, the best sales prospects 
for franchising are fast-food restaurants, convenience stores, 
maintenance and cleaning services, automotive services, educational and 
technical training programs, printing and photocopying services, and 
mailing and packaging services. 
 
Direct Marketing 
 
Direct marketing via personal selling is suitable to the Thai market and 
is expected to take off in the near future.  This approach is already 
viewed by many as an excellent way to win money and praise while 
expanding one's circle of friends and contacts.  Direct marketing is 
already extensively employed for the sale of housewares, toiletries and 
cosmetics, and car care items.   
 
Joint Ventures/Licensing 
 
Joint ventures and licensing agreements are important market entry 
strategies for American exporters to Thailand.  In many cases, the only 
way to overcome costly freight charges, import restrictions, and 
competition from cheap local goods is via local production.  This is 
becoming increasingly so now that Thai firms have moved up the 
technological ladder to compensate for rising local labor costs compared 
with other parts of Southeast Asia and southern China.   
 
Many Thai firms actively seek U.S. joint venture partners who bring 
technical, marketing, and management skills to a business relationship.  
In turn, Thai firms generally offer plenty of capital, valuable local 
vendor and government contacts, and established business relationships 
throughout the region.  A number of aggressive U.S. companies have 
already entered into strategic joint-venture relationships with Thai 
partners in Indochina and China. 
 
The American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand has several committees that 
work hard to facilitate joint venture operations in the manufacturing 
and service sectors.  American Embassy officials participate actively on 
these committees. 
 
Steps to Establishing An Office 
 
The primary organizational forms for commercial enterprises are the sole 
proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, joint venture 
and foreign branch.  All are similar in nature to those found in the 
West.  Limited liability companies, though, tend to be more private than 
public in Thailand.  The majority of foreign corporations operating in 
Thailand do so through these private limited liability companies. 
 
The U.S.-Thai Treaty of Amity and Economic Relations of 1966 has allowed 
U.S.-majority-owned businesses incorporated either in the United States 
or in Thailand almost equal footing with Thai corporate entities.  
Consequently, U.S. corporations may establish wholly-owned subsidiaries 
or branch offices in Thailand without the constraints that other foreign 
firms face from the Alien Business Law.  However, government 
restrictions still can be applied in the communications, transport, and 
banking sectors, and for the exploitation of land and natural resources 
or the trade of domestic agricultural products.  To register under the 
Treaty of Amity, a U.S. company needs to file an application with the 
Department of Commercial Registration at the Thai Ministry of Commerce. 
 
Selling Factors/Techniques 
 
To differentiate themselves from local and third country competitors, 
U.S. firms should use their strengths such as quality, innovation, 
technology enhancements, and customer service to maximum advantage.  
Thai customers have come to expect more and better styles and designs, 
regular product upgrades, and updated technology from U.S. companies. 
 
Advertising and Trade Promotion 
 
Advertising and trade promotion are important marketing tools in 
Thailand.  In particular, foodstuffs and consumer products should be 
promoted heavily via a full range of mass media.  In Thailand, many 
companies rely heavily on the two major English-language newspapers, 
"The Bangkok Post" and "The Nation," for advertising, but Thai-language 
publication should also be considered.  The most popular daily 
newspapers in Thai are "Krung Thep Turrakit" (Bangkok Business News) and 
"Manager".  Special promotional campaigns should be conducted at local 
shopping centers, hotels, and convention halls.  For industrial 
products, it is advisable to translate all product literature and 
technical specifications into Thai, to advertise in trade journals, and 
to organize technical seminars.  Successful firms also arrange for Thai 
agents and major customers to receive specialized training back at the 
U.S. plant and even donate equipment for training purposes in Thailand.  
 
Pricing the Product 
 
Detailed market analysis is needed for developing a pricing strategy in 
Thailand.  U.S. firms need to study such factors as the channels of 
distribution, the necessary sales and promotion techniques, and the 
current pricing practices of key competitors. 
 
Sales Service/Customer Support 
 
To build confidence among Thai consumers and business partners, American 
marketers should visit Thailand often and work closely with their local 
agents and clients.  Many firms benefit from rotating in American 
engineers to assist with the training of local representatives and to 
accompany them on sales calls.  Successful firms understand the 
importance of providing marketing and technical assistance.  U.S. firms 
should also find ways of extending credit to their Thai customers.  The 
Europeans and the Japanese often use aggressive financing tactics to win 
deals. 
 
Selling to the Government 
 
U.S. exporters actively pursue government procurement opportunities in 
such key fields as power generation and transmission, petroleum refining 
and petrochemicals, telecommunications, transportation, the environment, 
health care, and defense.  The key to successful bidding on Thai 
government contracts and supply tenders is to have a reputable local 
representative with good access to the procuring agency and knowledge of 
specific requirements.  Without this intermediary, it is very difficult 
to win a government project.  Representatives are accepted, legitimate 
players in the bidding process.  Agents often provide an early "heads 
up" to U.S. firms when they hear of attractive tenders.  Before these 
tenders are even issued, they can ensure that the principal's product is 
specified. 
 
A specific set of rules commonly referred to as the "Prime Minister's 
Procurement Regulations" govern public sector procurement.  These 
regulations require that non-discriminatory treatment be accorded to all 
potential bidders.  They do, however, provide preferential treatment to 
domestic suppliers who receive an automatic 15 percent price advantage 
over foreign bidders in initial round bid evaluations.  The specific 
laws that apply to international tenders are Regulations 87 and 89, 
which generally adhere to established international procedures. 
 
Protecting Your Product from IPR Infringement 
 
Inadequate protection in Thailand for U.S. copyright, patent, and 
trademark holders remains a serious bilateral trade issue.  U.S. firms 
should protect themselves by registering all of their intellectual 
property.  Lawyers specializing in this area can initiate legal actions 
to combat piracy, although this can be a lengthy process. The Thai 
government is also taking legislative and administrative steps to update 
and increase enforcement of existing copyright laws.  The U.S. 
Government continues to monitor Thailand's progress in implementing 
protective measures.  Thailand remains on the U.S. Trade 
Representative's "Watch List." 
 
Need for a Local Attorney 
 
The services of a local attorney are required for executing 
distributorship agreements and setting up offices in Thailand.   
Normally, the paperwork can be completed quickly and easily.  They also 
advise on the various types of business organizations and assist in 
registering firms under the Treaty of Amity and in obtaining the 
requisite permits.  Lawyers are needed for registering patents and 
trademarks and for taking other legal measures to protect a product from 
intellectual property right infringement.  The U.S. Commercial Service 
office at the American Embassy in Bangkok has a list of Thai lawyers and 
American legal consultants who specialize in commercial law.   
 
V.  LEADING TRADE PROSPECTS FOR U.S. BUSINESS 
 
Thailand's dynamic economy provides numerous opportunities for U.S. 
exporting firms.  The following, in ranked order of best prospects for 
U.S. exporters, are some of the sectors that may be of greatest 
interest.  For additional information on each best prospect, see 
Appendix B. 
 
Agricultural Sector Prospects: 
 
1.  Cotton 
2.  Wheat 
3.  Temperate Hardwood Lumber 
4.  Soybean Meal 
5.  Processed Foods 
6.  Wine 
7.  Citrus Fruit 
 
Non-agricultural Sector Prospects: 
 
1.  Computer Software 
2.  Telecommunications Equipment 
3.  Electric Power Systems 
4.  Airport/Ground Support Equipment 
5.  Pumps, Valves/Compressors 
6.  Computers & Peripherals 
7.  Process Control - Industrial 
8.  Pollution Control Equipment 
9.  Food Processing/Packaging Equipment 
10. Franchising 
11. Defense Industry Equipment 
12. Medical Equipment 
13. Industrial Chemicals 
14. Travel and Tourism Services 
15. Construction Equipment 
16. Laboratory Scientific Instruments 
17. Cosmetics/Toiletries 
18. Automotive Parts/Service Equipment 
19. Building Products 
20. Architecture/Construction/Engineering Services 
21. Machine Tools/Metalworking Equipment 
22. Plastics Production Machinery 
 
DATA ON BEST PROSPECTS FOR AGRICULTURE 
AND INDUSTRY SECTOR EXPORTS 
 
1.  Best Prospects for U.S. Agricultural Exports to Thailand 
 
                                  1994        1995        1996 
                                              Forecast    Forecast 
Cotton  
(Thousand Metric Tons) 
 
Total market size                  360          330        350 
Total local production               6            6          7 
Total exports                        6            6          6 
Total imports                      351          290        330 
Total imports from U.S.             61          196        200 
 
* Market Year Aug - July 
* Total Market Size = total consumption 
 
Though U.S. exports of cotton to Thailand declined dramatically in 1993 
due to abundant, cheap supplies from competitors, U.S. exports during 
1994 rebounded sharply.  China, Pakistan, and India are all experiencing 
severe production problems associated with various pests opening a 
window for U.S. exports. 
 
                                  1994        1995        1996 
                                              Forecast    Forecast 
Wheat  
(Thousand Metric Tons) 
 
Total market size                 630          700         780 
Total local production              0            0           0 
Total exports                       0            0           0 
Total imports                     740          700         760 
Total imports from U.S.           345          350         400 
 
* Market Year July - Jun 
* Total Market Size = total consumption 
 
Thailand's rapid growth in wheat consumption makes it a promising market 
for wheat exporters.  Though the United States is the major supplier of 
wheat to Thailand, it faces competition from Canada, Australia, and 
Saudi Arabia.  Price and quality are the main factors determining 
competitiveness of U.S. wheat in Thailand.  However, indications are 
that U.S. wheat may become more competitive as Saudi Arabia phases out 
its price support program for wheat. 
 
                                  1994        1995        1996 
                                              Forecast    Forecast 
Temperate Hardwood Lumber  
(Thousand Cubic Meters) 
 
Total market size                 749          850         n/a 
Total local production              0            0         n/a 
Total exports                       0            0         n/a 
Total imports                     749          850         n/a 
Total imports from U.S.           467          470         n/a 
 
* Market Year is the Calendar Year 
* Total Market Size = total consumption 
 
Thailand's imports of temperate hardwood lumber have more than tripled 
each year during the last three years.  Though most of this wood is 
sourced from U.S. suppliers, Europe has been able to meet a portion of 
Thailand's import needs.  Tropical hardwoods have traditionally been the 
wood of preference in Thailand.  However, diminished supplies have 
created tremendous potential for temperate hardwoods.  
 
                                  1994        1995        1996 
                                              Forecast    Forecast 
Soybean Meal  
(Thousand Metric Tons) 
 
Total market size                  943        1190        1103 
Total local production             343         359         363 
Total exports                        0           0           0 
Total imports                      600         831         550 
Total imports from U.S.             30          38          40 
 
* Market Year Sept - Aug 
* Total Market Size = total consumption 
 
Continued growth in the poultry and swine sectors, although at a slower 
rate than in recent years, should increase soybean meal consumption in 
1995.  Brazil replaced India as Thailand's largest supplier of soybean 
meal, followed by India, China, and the U.S.  Some 37,800 tons of high-
protein U.S. soybean meal were imported during the first quarter of 
1995.  The United States still has trouble competing consistently with 
India and China because of freight costs and Thailand's preference for 
smaller cargoes.  U.S. soybean meal prices are currently competitive 
with Brazil. As a result of the Uruguay Round, Thailand replaced the 
surcharge on soybean meal with a tariff-rate-quota of 20 percent. The 
out-of-quota tariff will be 148 percent in 1995, and will be reduced to 
133 percent over 10 years. 
 
Processed Foods 
 
One of the fastest growing import sectors is processed food products.  
The value of these imports increased more than 12 percent last year.  
Processed food products with good retail potential include breakfast 
cereals, snack foods, canned vegetable and fruit juices, processed 
fruits and vegetables, dried fruit, processed nuts (almonds, pistachios, 
macadamias, walnuts), bakery mixes, chocolate and confectionery, health 
foods, cheeses, condiments, soft drinks, and soup bases. 
 
Wine 
 
Wine is one of the latest trends in Thailand's effort to modernize by 
embracing the West.  Wine imports increased 40 percent in 1994 to over 
two million liters, and total sales are estimated at $40 million.  
Although originally imported to satisfy the limited demand of 
expatriates, wine is currently a fad among the wealthy and educated Thai 
upper class.  With its growing popularity, the leading English-language 
newspaper introduced a weekly "Why Wine?" column last year to teach the 
finer points of wine consumption.  As a symbol of wealth and status, 
wine is gradually replacing whiskey as the gift of choice.  In the 
longer term, opportunities exist among the rising middle class, for whom 
wine -- particularly white wines from California or Australia -- can be 
a light, healthy and affordable alternative to spirits. 
 
Fresh Citrus Fruits 
 
The United States has recently established protocols with Thailand which 
allow the import of fresh citrus products from the U.S.  These protocols 
give the U.S. citrus industry a significant advantage over competitors.  
Only U.S. fresh citrus is allowed in at this time, giving U.S. suppliers 
an opportunity to become entrenched in the market.  However, this 
advantage may be short-lived as competitors work hard to satisfy 
Thailand's rigorous phythosanitary requirements.  Once these 
requirements are met, though, competitors such as Australia will enjoy 
the advantage of proximity.  Industry sources estimate market potential 
at $40 million, though this goal will probably not be reached in the 
near future. 
 
2. Best Prospects for U.S. Industrial Exports to Thailand 
 
Computer Software 
 
Rank of Sector: 1 
Name of Sector: Computer Software 
ITA Industry Code: CSF 
 
Narrative:  
 
The computer software industry is forecasted to grow rapidly in the next 
few years. Thai public agencies have plans to increase spending on 
upgrades of existing software packages.  Large companies, banks and 
financial firms are also expected to invest heavily in new software.  In 
the personal computer software market, applications software currently 
represents 73 percent of the market while systems software accounts for 
the remaining 27 percent. 
 
The Intellectual Property Rights Law became effective on March 21, 1995.  
If legal enforcement efforts succeed, the Thai computer software market 
is expected to double in size in the near future.  Many foreign software 
companies are in the process of establishing representative offices in 
Thailand.  More competition will lead to lower prices.  Many Thai public 
and private agencies are expected to switch from bootlegged to legal 
software. 
 
U.S. manufactured computer software will continue to dominate the Thai 
software market. 
 
The most promising subsectors are: 
 
-  Operating system software 
-  CAD/CAM/CAE software 
-  Database management software 
-  Internet 
-  Multimedia software 
-  Re-engineering software 
 
Data Table: 
                                  1994        1995        1996 
 
a. Total Market Size               180         275         406 
b. Total Local Production           30          50          68 
c. Total Exports                     0           0           0 
d. Total Imports                   150         225         338 
e. Imports from U.S.               100         130         163 
 
1) Exchange rate US$1 = Baht 25 
2) 1995 and 1996 figures are estimated 
3) Figures are in $millions 
 
Telecommunications Equipment 
 
Rank of Sector: 2 
Name of Sector: Telecommunications Equipment 
ITA Industry Code:  TEL 
 
Narrative:   
 
The market for telecommunications equipment in Thailand totaled about 
$2.3 billion in 1994.  Rapid annual growth of more than 20 percent can 
be attributed to the accelerated installation of three million telephone 
lines, the construction of a satellite earth station, the expansion of 
cellular phone and pager networks, and the installation of fiber optic 
cables.  This expansion of Thailand's telecommunications infrastructure, 
which will include several new cable television stations, looks very 
promising for new investment activities. 
 
The United States has about 20 percent of the market.  Key competitors 
include Japan, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Taiwan, and South Korea. 
 
The most promising subsectors are: 
 
-  Telephone switching equipment 
-  Optical fiber cables 
-  Mobile telephone equipment 
-  Paging systems 
-  Private automatic branch exchanges (PABXs) 
-  Facsimile machines 
-  Cable TV broadcasting network equipment 
-  Satellite signal receiving equipment 
 
Data Table: 
                                  1994        1995        1996 
 
a. Total Market Size              2345        2920        3650 
b. Total Local Production         2198        2420        2660 
c. Total Exports                  1539        1690        1860 
d. Total Imports                  1686        2190        2850 
e. Imports from the U.S.           353         460         600 
 
1) Exchange rate US$1 = Baht 25 
2) 1995 and 1996 figures are estimated 
3) Figures are in $millions 
 
Electric Power Systems 
 
Rank of Sector: 3 
Name of Sector: Electric Power Systems 
ITA Industry Code:  ELP 
 
Narrative: 
 
Capital investment in new power plants should zoom ahead to $5.4 billion 
per year during 1997-2001.  To lessen the burden of investing in new 
generating units, EGAT has begun to purchase electricity from small 
power producers (SPPs), has concluded an agreement to purchase 1,610 MW 
of electricity from Laos, and is calling for proposals to supply 3,800 
MWs of electricity during the years 2000-2002 from independent power 
producers (IPPs). 
 
Demand for electricity is expected to have increased by about 10.2 
percent per year from 1992 to 1996 (Seventh Plan), and should continue 
to rise by about 7.8 percent from 1997 to the year 2001 (Eighth Plan), 
and by 6.1 percent from the year 2002 to the year 2006 (Ninth Plan).  
The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) estimates that 
demand for electricity in Thailand will increase to 13,075 megawatts 
(MW) by 1996, to 19,000 MW by the year 2001, and to 25,515 MW by the 
year 2006. 
 
The United States is the third largest supplier of electric power 
systems to Thailand.  Japan is the largest, followed by France. 
 
The most promising subsectors are: 
 
-  Steam generating plant equipment 
-  Turbine generator plant equipment 
-  Boilers 
-  230/69 kV substations 
-  22 kV portable switch stations 
-  115 kV and 230 kV power transformers 
-  12.5 MVA, 50 MVA and 200 MVA power transformers 
-  230 kV circuit breakers 
-  Pole and transmission line hardware 
-  Noncurrent-carrying wiring devices 
-  Burner retrofits 
-  Compression connectors 
-  Insulators 
-  Instrumentation and control equipment 
-  Construction services 
-  Engineering consulting services 
 
Data Table: 
                                  1994        1995        1996 
 
a. Total Market Size              1165        1230        1290 
b. Total Local Production          220         240         260 
c. Total Exports                   525         550         580 
d. Total Imports                  1470        1540        1610 
e. Imports from the U.S.           207         217         228 
 
1) Exchange rate US$1 = Baht 25 
2) 1995 and 1996 figures are estimated 
3) Figures are in $millions 
 
Airport/Ground Support Equipment 
 
Rank of Sector: 4 
Name of Sector: Airport/Ground Support Equipment 
ITA Industry Code: APG 
 
Narrative: 
 
The Royal Thai Government (RTG), under its Seventh National Development 
Plan, plans to develop Thailand as a regional communications and 
aviation center.  The Airport Authority of Thailand (AAT) is expanding 
the passenger capacity of Bangkok International Airport (BIA) from 19 to 
25 million per year, and is upgrading three other international 
airports.  The RTG is also moving ahead with the long delayed Second 
Bangkok International Airport (SBIA) at Nong Ngu Hao. 
 
These ongoing projects are creating demand for both new and replacement 
airport and ground support equipment.  Over 95 percent of total market 
demand is met by imports, which rose seven percent to about $231.2 
million.  The projected annual growth rate is 10 percent for the near 
future.  The U.S. is the major supplier with about 50 percent of the 
ground support import market, and is ranked second in airport equipment 
with a 30 percent share.  Under the SBIA Master Plan, the AAT plans to 
invest about $640 million for the following airport and ground support 
equipment: 
 
-  Fire/Rescue rolling stocks 
-  Meteorological facilities and equipment 
-  Navigational aids and radar systems 
-  Moving sidewalks/escalators 
-  Baggage handling/detection systems 
-  Loading bridges 
-  Aircraft fueling systems & rolling stock 
-  Fuel hydrant network 
-  Ground service equipment and maintenance facilities 
 
Data Table: 
                                  1994        1995        1996 
 
a. Total Market Size               218         240         264 
b. Total Local Production            5           6           6 
c. Total Exports                    18          20          22 
d. Total Imports                   231         254         280 
e. Imports from the U.S.            46          56          61 
 
1) Exchange rate US$1 = Baht 25 
2) 1995 and 1996 figures are estimated 
3) Figures are in $millions 
 
Pumps, Valves/Compressors 
 
Rank of Sector: 5 
Name of Sector: Pumps, Valves/Compressors 
ITA Industry Code:  PVC 
 
Narrative: 
 
The market for pumps, valves and compressors in Thailand is expected to 
grow at an average rate of 14 percent per year with imports fulfilling 
most of demand.  The construction of new oil refineries (by Shell and 
Caltex), the laying of undersea and inland oil/gas pipelines, and the 
construction of petrochemical plants on Thailand's Eastern Seaboard 
offer good opportunities for the sale of pumps, valves, and compressors.  
Liberalized laws relating to the establishment of new petrochemical 
plants and retail gas stations, as well as increased exploration of 
oil/gas fields, the development of tap water facilities, the 
construction of wastewater treatment plants, and the future development 
of new Southern Seaboard Development areas (from 1995 to 2005) will 
create even more sales opportunities. 
 
U.S. products are highly rated in Thailand for their quality and 
dependability.  U.S. suppliers enjoy about 21 percent of the market, 
followed by Japan. 
 
The most promising subsectors are: 
 
-  Centrifugal pumps 
-  Fuel dispensing pumps 
-  Automatic actuators 
-  Pressure reducing valves 
-  Gas compressors 
-  Compressors for refrigerating equipment 
 
Data Table: 
                                  1994        1995        1996 
 
a. Total Market Size              1031        1226        1457 
b. Total Local Production          254         305         366 
c. Total Exports                   127         146         168 
d. Total Imports                   904        1067        1259 
e. Imports from the U.S            190         228         274 
 
1) Exchange rate US$1 = Baht 25 
2) 1995 and 1996 figures are estimated 
3) Figures are in $millions 
 
Computers/Peripherals 
 
Rank of Sector: 6 
Name of Sector: Computers/Peripherals 
ITA Industry Code: CPT 
 
Narrative: 
 
Thailand's computer market is following global trends toward the merging 
of computers, telecommunications and mass media into a broad new 
industry.  This is expected to lead to enormous commercial opportunities 
in Thailand.  The Association of Thai Computer Industries estimated that 
the computer industry will grow by 45 percent this year. Hardware will 
grow by 38 percent.  Mainframes represent seven percent of total sales, 
midranges six percent, minicomputers five percent, and workstations and 
ATMs three percent each.  Personal computers and peripherals account for 
the remaining 76 percent of the market.  Of total PC sales, notebook 
computers account for 10 percent. 
 
The Thai government strongly supports the development of the information 
technology industry as a key in advancing the country both socially and 
economically.  Many computer projects have been initiated by the public 
sector.  An information superhighway project will be launched at the end 
of 1995.  This project will employ fiber optic lines to perform such 
tasks as bringing education to remote rural areas. 
 
The most promising subsectors are: 
 
-  Computer networking products 
-  Client server systems 
-  Multimedia products 
-  Personal computers & notebook computers 
-  Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) 
-  Point-of-Sale units 
 
Data Table: 
                                  1994        1995        1996 
 
a. Total Market Size               895         945         990 
b. Total Local Production         1710        1845        1990 
c. Total Exports                  2600        2780        2975 
d. Total Imports                  1785        1880        1975 
e. Imports from U.S.               400         430         465 
 
1) Exchange rate US$1 = Baht 25 
2) 1995 and 1996 figures are estimated 
3) Figures are in $millions 
 
Process Control - Industrial 
 
Rank of Sector: 7 
Name of Sector: Process Control - Industrial 
ITA Industry Code: PCI 
 
Narrative: 
 
Thailand's manufacturing sector has grown rapidly since 1987 with annual 
growth rates between 10-14 percent.  This growth is expected to continue 
in the coming years.  Six strategic industries were identified in the 
Seventh National Development Plan (1992-1996) as areas of international 
competitive advantage for Thailand: agro-industries and food processing; 
textiles and garments; electronics; metal-working; petro-chemicals; and 
iron and steel. 
 
Government promotion of these sectors has significantly increased 
requirements for process control instruments and equipment.  More than 
90 percent of local demand is met by imports.  Thai manufacturers 
continue to prefer U.S. process control products for their high quality 
and reliability. 
 
The most promising subsectors are: 
 
-  Control equipment 
-  Measuring equipment 
-  Testing equipment 
-  Support devices 
 
Data Table: 
                                  1994        1995        1996 
 
a. Total Market Size               630         704         787 
b. Total Local Production          121         129         137 
c. Total Exports                    85          90          95 
d. Total Imports                   594         665         745 
e. Imports from the U.S.           138         159         183 
 
1) Exchange rate US$1 = Baht 25 
2) 1995 and 1996 figures are estimated 
3) Figures are in $millions 
 
Pollution Control Equipment 
 
Rank of Sector: 8 
Name of Sector: Pollution Control Equipment 
ITA Industry Code: POL 
 
Narrative: 
 
Recent environmental legislation requires all hotels, hospitals, and 
high rise buildings to have waste water treatment facilities that meet 
strict effluent standards.  Most highrise buildings have previously had 
inadequate pollution control facilities which must now be upgraded.  The 
Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has also called for competitive 
bidding on a turnkey wastewater collection and treatment facility and a 
garbage incinerator.  The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand 
has hired international engineering firms to install flue gas 
desulfurization (FGD) equipment and will soon call for bids on more 
installations of FGD equipment to retrofit old power generators.  In 
addition, more solid waste treatment plants and hazardous waste 
treatment plants will be built. 
 
U.S. pollution control equipment and technologies are highly rated in 
Thailand.  U.S. firms wishing to do business in Thailand should 
establish good relationships with local partners and various regulatory 
agencies. 
 
The most promising subsectors are: 
 
-  Consulting & management services 
-  Design licensing 
-  Waste water treatment/water purifying equipment 
-  Lining membranes 
-  Incinerators 
-  Waste recycling process equipment 
-  Centrifugal pumps 
-  Gas filters 
 
Data Table: 
                                  1994        1995        1996 
 
a. Total Market Size               295         352         420 
b. Total Local Production           30          32          34 
c. Total Exports                    15          16          17 
d. Total Imports                   280         336         403 
e. Imports from U.S.                45          54          65 
 
1) Exchange rate US$1 = Baht 25 
2) 1995 and 1996 figures are estimated 
3) Figures are in $millions 
 
Food Processing/Packaging Equipment 
 
Rank of Sector: 9 
Name of Sector: Food Processing/Packaging Equipment 
ITA Industry Code: FPP 
 
Narrative: 
 
The food processing and packaging equipment market continues to grow 
steadily at 15 percent per year as a large, educated middle class 
creates a stronger local market for processed and packaged food.  Local 
production has expanded rapidly to cope with the increased demand.  
Since domestically produced equipment tends to be rather 
unsophisticated, imported equipment is still required.  This is 
particularly true in packaging, which is growing at an even faster pace 
than processing. 
 
German and Taiwanese manufacturers hold the largest market share, 
followed by U.S. companies who hold 14 percent of the total.  There is 
generally good receptivity to U.S. products, but European and Asian 
suppliers have been more aggressive in servicing and promoting to the 
Thai market. 
 
The most promising subsectors are: 
 
-  Integrated canning systems 
-  Bakery equipment 
-  Beverage packaging and equipment 
-  Seafood packaging equipment 
 
Data Table: 
                                  1994        1995        1996 
 
a.  Total Market Size             1062        1171        1340 
b.  Total Local Production         120         138         155 
c.  Total Exports                   43          50          60 
d.  Total Imports                  985        1083        1245 
e.  Imports from U.S.              148         162         195 
 
1) Exchange rate US$1 = Baht 25 
2) 1995 and 1996 figures are estimated 
3) Figures are in $millions 
 
Franchising 
 
Rank of Sector: 10 
Name of Sector: Franchising 
ITA Industry Code:  FRA 
 
Narrative: 
 
The franchising business in Thailand is currently dominated by U.S. 
entrepreneurs, who account for about 90 percent of the market.  Local 
franchisers currently represent eight percent of the market.  The 
food/restaurant sector is by far the most popular means of franchising 
in Thailand, followed by convenience stores.  Newer types of franchising 
services, such as business and educational aids, maintenance and 
sanitation, and commercial printing and photo copying, are just 
beginning to emerge.   
 
There is good room for growth in franchising, especially in non-food 
sectors.  The buying power of the Thai middle class is increasing 
rapidly in line with strong economic growth.  The Thais are very 
receptive to U.S.-brand products and services, which has facilitated the 
acceptance of the franchising concept in Thailand. 
 
The most promising subsectors are: 
 
-  Fast food restaurants 
-  Convenience stores 
-  Maintenance, cleaning and sanitation services 
-  Language schools and educational aids 
-  Printing and photo copying services 
-  Automotive maintenance services 
-  Mailing and packaging services 
-  Business aids 
 
Data Table: 
                                  1994        1995        1996 
 
a. Total Market Size                20          26         33.8 
b. Total Local Production            1.6         2.0        2.7 
c. Total Exports                     0           0          0 
d. Total Imports                    18.4        24.0       31.1 
e. Imports from the U.S.            17.8        23.3       30.2 
 
1) Exchange rate US$1 = Baht 25. 
2) 1995 and 1996 figures are estimated. 
3) Figures are in $ millions. 
 
Defense Industry Equipment 
 
Rank of Sector: 11 
Name of Sector: Defense Industry Equipment 
ITA Industry Code: DFN 
 
Narrative: 
 
Thailand's defense spending was about $3.4 billion in 1994, up 8.2 
percent.  The defense budget as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product 
has remained constant over the past three years at 2.5 percent.  About 
$800 million to $1.0 billion is spent per year for military hardware, 
both to replace outdated items and for new programs. 
 
Recently, the Royal Thai Army (RTA) created a plan to modernize its M113 
series armored personnel carriers (APCs) to the M113A2 series.  One 
hundred units have been upgraded so far with another 100 being 
rehabilitated.  The RTA will also spend $48 million to remodel several 
of its M113 APCs into armored infantry fighting vehicles (AIFVs) by 
mounting 30 mm gun turrets on them.  The RTA currently needs light- and 
medium-weight tactical wheeled vehicles.  It also plans to change 
200,000 assault rifles used by rangers to a new generation model, and to 
set up a Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence (C3I) System.  
The cost for these two programs is about $160 million. 
 
The Royal Thai Air Force has several major programs in their FY'96  
budget/acquisition plan, including: 
 
-  A squadron of 8, 12 or 18 second generation aircraft 
-  A replacement aircraft trainer for the T-37 aircraft 
-  C-47 aircraft modification 
-  LANTRIN pods 
-  AMRAAM missiles 
-  Four to six C-130H aircraft 
-  A hypobaric chamber 
 
The Royal Thai Navy is considering the following equipment/systems for 
possible acquisition: 
 
-  Diesel electric submarines 
-  Mine countermeasure ships 
-  Airborne early warning systems 
-  Tactical data links for ships, aircraft, and shore sites 
-  Weapons systems and service life extension programs for 
   amphibious assault vehicles 
-  Naval dockyard construction and outfitting 
-  Small antisubmarine helicopters 
 
Imports of defense equipment were up about $853.7 million in 1994, an 
increase of 127 percent over 1993.  This drastic increase resulted from 
the import of $680.4 million worth of airplane and helicopter parts from 
third countries.  However, $347.6 million of the imported parts were for 
re-export.  The U.S. is still the leading supplier of other defense 
equipment.  Exports from the U.S. were about $25.3 million.  France 
ranked second with $19.3 million in exports.  Since the U.S. has long 
provided military assistance through the Military Aid Program (MAP) and 
Foreign Military Sales (FMS) to the Thai military forces, U.S.-made 
military hardware and technologies are well accepted in Thailand and 
Thai weapons systems are based chiefly on U.S. military standards. 
 
Data Table: 
                                  1994        1995        1996 
 
a. Total Market Size               517         553         591 
b. Total Local Production           11          12          12 
c. Total Exports                   348         372         398 
d. Total Imports                   913         977   
e. Imports from the U.S.            25          28          31 
 
1) Exchange rate US$1 = Baht 25 
2) 1995 and 1996 figures are estimated 
3) Figures are in $millions 
 
Note: Imports of aircraft and helicopter parts in 1994 accounted for 
$680.4 million (79 percent) of the total imports  
 
Medical Equipment 
 
Rank of Sector: 12 
Name of Sector: Medical Equipment 
TA Industry Code: MED 
 
Narrative: 
 
The medical equipment market is one of the fastest growing industries in 
Thailand.  The government is aware of the urgent need for health care 
services and facilities and is trying especially to improve peoples' 
health in rural areas.  This will be done through both the construction 
of new health care facilities and the expansion of existing ones. This 
will require much more medical equipment in the coming years. 
 
The construction of hospitals in the Bangkok area has slowed somewhat as 
projects have been completed to cope with current demand.  Existing 
hospital are competing aggressively in terms of services and diversity 
of treatments offered.  In rural areas, the construction of new 
hospitals and medical units continues to expand rapidly.  
 
Investments or joint ventures in the medical equipment industry are 
encouraged by Thailand's Board of Investment (BOI), which offers various 
incentives such as exemptions from corporate income tax and import 
duties on capital investment and others. 
 
The most promising subsectors are: 
 
-  Disposable products such as rubber gloves, syringes, and gowns 
-  HIV testing equipment 
-  High-tech diagnostic apparatus 
-  Incubators 
 
Data Table: 
                                  1994        1995        1996 
 
a.  Total Market Size              320         370         450 
b.  Total Local Production         152         165         190 
c.  Total Exports                   62          70          80 
d.  Total Import                   230         275         340 
e.  Total Imports from U.S.         55          64          70 
 
1) Exchange rate US$1 = Baht 25 
2) 1995 and 1996 figures are estimated 
3) Figures are in $millions 
 
Industrial Chemicals 
 
Rank of Sector: 13 
Name of Sector: Industrial Chemicals 
ITA Industry Code:  ICH 
 
Narrative: 
 
Thailand's demand for industrial chemicals is estimated to grow at an 
annual rate of 9.5 percent over the next three years.  Although Thailand 
can produce ethylene, propylene, styrene, citric acid, and some basic 
inorganic chemicals, the demand for other chemicals relies heavily on 
imports. 
 
U.S. industrial chemicals are well accepted locally due to their good 
quality.  The United States is the second largest supplier of industrial 
chemicals to Thailand after Japan. 
 
The most promising subsectors are: 
 
-  Water treatment chemicals 
-  Other specialty chemicals and chemical additives for textiles 
-  Electronics 
-  Pulp and paper 
-  Rubber 
-  Plastics 
 
Data Table: 
                                  1994        1995        1996 
 
a. Total Market Size              2722        2980        3264 
b. Total Local Production          400         440         484 
c. Total Exports                   228         250         275 
d. Total Imports                  2550        2790        3055 
e. Imports from the U.S.           390         460         550 
 
1) Exchange rate US$1 = Baht 25 
2) 1995 and 1996 figures are estimated 
3) Figures are in $millions 
 
Travel/Tourism Services 
 
Rank of Sector: 14 
Name of Sector: Travel/Tourism Services  
ITA or PS&D Code: TRA 
 
Narrative: 
 
Outbound travel from Thailand to the U.S. is steadily increasing and 
will continue for the foreseeable future.  Thailand is now a rapidly 
emerging market that should not be ignored by U.S. travel and tourism 
service suppliers. 
 
Increasingly affluent Thai travelers are seeking more for their tourist 
dollar and consider the U.S. an affordable and accessible market for a 
seven- to 10-day vacation.  Thai arrivals in the U.S. increased 10.3 
percent in 1994, totaling 70,000 persons.  The total number of Thais 
leaving the country increased to 1.52 million in 1994 from 1.28 million 
in 1993, an 18 percent rise.  Sixty-five percent, or approximately one 
million, are tourists with the remainder being business executives, 
workers, and students.  Traditionally a magnet for educated and wealthy 
Thais, the U.S. is also a top destination for the growing numbers of 
upwardly mobile professionals.  Thai business executives combine 
essential business trips with personal or family vacations.  Students 
also are traveling to U.S. in increasing numbers. 
 
Over 100,000 Thais are expected to visit the United States in 1996. In 
the first quarter of 1995, the number of tourist visas issued by the 
American Embassy in Bangkok was up 34 percent over 1994.  The average 
age of Thai visitors to the U.S. is 36 and the average visitor spends 
about US$2,000 each during a typical 10-day visit. 
 
Data Table: 
                                  1994        1995        1996 
 
a. Total Market Size:             1880        2068        2775 
b. Total Local Production:         N/A         N/A         N/A 
   (Total expenditures by Thai 
    travelers locally) 
c. Total Exports:                  N/A         N/A         N/A 
d. Total Imports:                 1880        2068        2775 
   (Total expenditures by Thai 
    travelers overseas) 
e. Imports from U.S.:               85          94         104 
   (Total expenditures by Thai 
    travelers in the U.S.) 
 
1) Exchange rate US$1 = Baht 25 
2) 1995 and 1996 figures are estimated 
3) Figures are in $millions 
 
* Please note that the data represent rough estimates for Thai 
expenditures overseas which are categorized as services in the balance 
of payments, and are not included in trade statistics. 
 
Construction Equipment 
 
Rank of Sector: 15 
Name of Sector: Construction Equipment 
ITA Code:  CON 
 
Narrative: 
 
The construction equipment market grew by 10.2 percent in 1994, and 
growth of 12-13 percent is expected in 1995.  Equipment sales for public 
works projects in the energy, petrochemical and transportation sectors 
remain robust with above 20 percent growth expected. The six-year 
project to widen 1,991 kilometers of roads began in 1994.  The total 
budget is US$5.7 billion.  Several other projects, such as the US$1 
billion third stage expressway, the US$1.2 billion double-track railway, 
and the US$2.8 billion Second Bangkok International Airport are 
underway. 
 
Imports of construction equipment, which total more than 95 percent of 
the market, reached US$1.8 billion in 1994. Development of local 
production is hindered by technological limitations, and a lack of 
economies of scale and capital investment. Excavators and tamping or 
compacting machinery make up nearly half of this market.  The used 
equipment market, dominated by the Japanese, accounts for 40 percent of 
the total market.  Demand for new machines is expected to grow 10-15 
percent annually over the next several years. High-technology 
construction equipment is a particularly fast growing market segment. 
 
The most promising subsectors are: 
 
-  Tamping/compacting machinery 
-  Cranes 
-  Maintenance equipment for construction machinery 
-  Labor replacing concrete mixing equipment 
-  Labor replacing hydraulic equipment 
 
Data Table: 
                                  1994        1995        1996 
 
a.  Total Market Size             1813        1978        2218 
b.  Total Local Production          91         105         118 
c.  Total Exports                   58          67          84 
d.  Total Imports                 1780        1940        2183 
e.  Imports from U.S.               97         109         122 
 
1) Exchange rate US$1 = Baht 25 
2) 1995 and 1996 figures are estimated 
3) Figures are in $millions 
 
Laboratory Scientific Instruments 
 
Rank of Sector: 16 
Name of Sector: Laboratory Scientific Instruments 
ITA Industry Code: LAB 
 
Narrative: 
 
The Thai government is concerned with the development of human 
resources, science and technology, and the utilization of natural 
resources in order to sustain industrial growth.  Financial outlays for 
research and development are expected to increase to support the current 
economic expansion. 
 
The need for laboratory and scientific instruments has been steadily 
increasing for strategic industries such as food processing, textiles, 
electronics, metal-working, petro-chemicals, and steel.  Demand for 
laboratory instruments is predicted to grow at an annual rate of 24 
percent in the coming years.  Most of the demand will be met by imports.  
The United States and Japan are currently the two major suppliers in 
this field.  U.S. laboratory and scientific instruments are favorably 
regarded for their superior technology. 
 
The most promising subsectors are: 
 
-  Speed indicators 
-  Lenses, prisms, mirrors and other optical elements 
-  Chromatographs 
-  Electrochemical instruments 
-  Radiation measuring and controlling equipment 
 
Data Table: 
                                  1994        1995        1996 
 
a. Total Market Size               541         674         841 
b. Total Local Production          149         163         178 
c. Total Exports                   104         114         125 
d. Total Imports                   496         625         788 
e. Imports from the U.S.            49          54          60 
 
1) Exchange rate US$1 = Baht 25 
2) 1995 and 1996 figures are estimated 
3) Figures are in $millions 
 
Cosmetics/Toiletries 
 
Rank of Sector: 17 
Name of Sector: Cosmetics/Toiletries 
ITA Industry Code:  COS 
 
Narrative: 
 
The cosmetics industry in Thailand has the fastest growth rate among 
Asian countries except for Japan.  The market for cosmetics and 
toiletries will soon reach $850 million -- $400 million for the 
cosmetics industry and $450 million for toiletries. Imports account for 
30 percent of the total market. 
 
After a moderate increase in 1996, imports are forecast to increase at 
an average rate of 20 percent for several years because of more 
disposable income among the growing middle class, as well as the recent 
reduction on import duties from 60 to 40 percent.  A further decline in 
import duties to 20 percent is expected in 1997. 
 
The most promising subsectors are: 
 
-  Specialized skin care products 
-  Anti-aging products 
-  All natural products 
-  Products for specific skin types 
-  Face whitening products  
 
Data Table: 
                                  1994        1995        1996 
 
a. Total Market Size               635         730         850 
b. Total Local Production          476         550         670 
c. Total Exports                    68          80          98 
d. Total Imports                   227         260         278 
e. Imports from the U.S.            53          58          67 
 
1) Exchange rate US$1 = Baht 25 
2) 1995 and 1996 figures are estimated 
3) Figures are in $millions 
 
Automotive Parts/Service Equipment 
 
Rank of Sector: 18 
Name of Sector: Automotive Parts/Service Equipment 
ITA Code:  APS 
 
Narrative: 
 
The Thai auto industry is dominated by the Japanese. But American 
vehicle manufacturers and parts producers are beginning to reenter the 
market.  Chrysler is currently building a Jeep plant and Ford is 
investigating a pick-up truck assembly operation.  Several major U.S. 
vehicle component manufacturers are also building or expanding their 
plants in Thailand. 
 
Twelve auto manufacturers assemble vehicles in Thailand.  Their total 
output for 1994 was 434,001 units.  Five of these assemblers were 
Japanese, who control 76 percent of the passenger car market and 99 
percent of the commercial vehicle market. Toyota (25.4 percent share), 
Isuzu (17.8 percent), and Mitsubishi (16.5 percent) are the market 
leaders. 
 
Thailand is one of the fastest growing auto markets in the world.  With 
the total number of vehicles on the road fast approaching 10 million, 
the auto industry is expected to grow at 8-10 percent annual rates for 
the next three years.  Several companies have established Thailand as 
their assembly base for Southeast Asia.  By the year 2000, Thailand is 
expected to have a production capacity of 800,000 units. This rapid 
expansion has created opportunities for US exports in the auto 
components sector. 
 
Another important factor bodes well for American firms.  The rapid rise 
in the Japanese yen and German mark has increased the cost of materials 
imported from those countries.  Thai assemblers are now interested in 
making contact with U.S. companies supplying components to Japanese and 
German transplants in the U.S.  They are also looking for joint ventures 
with U.S. vehicle and parts producers. 
 
The most promising auto parts subsectors are: 
 
-  Diesel engine components 
-  Suspension and chassis parts 
-  Large injection molds and molded parts 
-  Press dies 
-  Jigs and fixtures 
-  Catalytic converters. 
 
Thailand also offers good opportunities for the automotive 
service/diagnostic equipment market, which is expected to grow at 10 
percent for the next three years. Japanese equipment currently dominates 
with a 53 percent market share, followed by the U.S. with 28 percent. 
 
The most promising service/diagnostic subsectors are: 
 
-  Equipment for tire and brake centers 
-  Emission control testing equipment 
-  Pumps of all kinds 
 
Data Table: 
                                  1994        1995        1996 
 
a. Total Market Size              5521        6073        6680 
b. Total Local Production         4690        5334        6162 
c. Total Exports                  1214        1518        1973 
d. Total Imports                  2045        2257        2491 
e. Imports from U.S.                73          80          88 
 
1) Exchange rate US$1 = Baht 25 
2) 1995 and 1996 figures are estimated 
3) Figures are in $millions 
 
Building Products 
 
Rank of Sector: 19 
Name of Sector: Building Products 
ITA Code:  BLD 
 
Narrative: 
 
The expansion in private construction activities will moderate somewhat 
compared to the massive growth of the past.  An average growth rate of 
8-10 percent is expected in the coming years.  Oversupply exists in 
virtually all segments of the market, including hotels, retail & office 
space, and houses and apartment buildings.  However, with the continuing 
robust growth of the Thai economy, and a large part of the Thai 
population in the 25-44 age bracket, the private construction industry 
is expected to remain a high growth sector. 
 
The size of the building products market is well over US$4 billion.  
Local manufacturers predominate for products such as ceramic tiles, 
roofing tiles, paints, sanitary wares, plumbing fixtures, locks, and 
hinges.  Imports account for under 20 percent of the total market.  
Demand for imports, however, is quite strong for high quality products 
that exhibit superior performance or design.  Specialty products for 
high-rise buildings, including curtains and window/door hardware are 
strong performers.  With an increasingly affluent population, Thailand 
is expected to have a greater appetite for upscale imported building 
products.  The recent reduction in tariffs has also increased the price 
competitiveness of imports. 
 
The most promising subsectors are: 
 
-  Curtains for commercial and residential buildings 
-  Window and door accessories 
-  Electrical grids and outlets 
 
Data Table: 
                                  1994        1995        1996 
 
a. Total Market Size              3887        4356        4660 
b. Total Local Production         2927        3391        3713 
c. Total Exports                   305         427         598 
d. Total Imports                  1265        1392        1545 
e. Imports from U.S.               100         115         132 
 
1) Exchange rate US$1 = Baht 25 
2) 1995 and 1996 figures are estimated 
3) Figures are in $millions 
 
Architecture/Construction/Engineering Services 
 
Rank of Sector: 20 
Name of Sector: Architecture/Construction/Engineering Services 
ITA Industry Code: ACE 
 
Narrative: 
 
Despite excess supply in the real estate industry, housing and 
commercial construction continue to expand.  In 1994, the construction 
sector recorded nine percent growth.  Future growth is projected at 
about 10 percent. 
 
The Seventh National Development Plan (1992-1996) earmarked about US$58 
billion for the power, telecommunications, transport, and utilities 
sectors.  Recently, the Electrical Generating Authority of Thailand 
launched an independent power producer program to partly privatize 
state-controlled power utilities.  The National Economic and Social 
Development Board is studying a high speed train link between Bangkok 
and Rayong on the Eastern Seaboard and the development of the country's 
Southern Seaboard. 
 
These major projects will generate ample need for architecture, 
construction & engineering services.  This market is estimated at around 
US$400 million, of which 20 percent is handled by foreign firms.  U.S. 
firms currently hold about 15-20 percent of the total services performed 
by international contractors.  U.S. architectural services in the 
petrochemical, environmental, and energy sectors are well accepted by 
local end-users. 
 
The most promising subsectors are: 
 
-  Oil/Petrochemical services 
-  Power generation and transmission services 
-  Waste water and solid waste management 
-  Telecommunication networks 
 
Data Table: 
                                  1994        1995        1996 
 
a. Total Market Size               352         394         429 
b. Total Local Prod.               281         315         343 
c. Total Exports                    NA          NA          NA 
d. Total Imports                    71          79          86 
e. Imports from U.S.                16          18          20 
 
1) Exchange rate US$1 = Baht 25 
2) 1995 and 1996 figures are estimated 
3) Figures are in $millions 
 
Machine Tools/Metalworking Equipment  
 
Rank of Sector: 21 
Name of Sector: Machine Tools/Metalworking Equipment 
ITA Code:  MTL 
 
Narrative: 
 
In its development into an industrialized country, Thailand continues to 
depend heavily on imports of capital goods and technology.  The metal 
working and machine tools market is attractive and growing.  In fact, it 
grew by 250 percent between 1988 and 1992.  More moderate growth in the 
5-10 percent range lies ahead.  Driven by increasing sophistication 
within the industry, demand will shift toward higher quality and higher 
precision machines and machine tools. 
 
The most promising subsectors are: 
 
-  Electrical discharge machines 
-  Machining centers 
-  High-precision grinding machines 
-  Numerically-controlled lathes 
-  High-precision presses 
-  NC and CNC boring devices 
 
Data Table: 
                                  1994        1995        1996 
 
a. Total Market Size               548         592         639 
b. Total Local Prod.                61          67          84 
c. Total Exports                    29          32          35 
d. Total Imports                   516         557         590 
e. Imports from U.S.                38          41          44  
 
1) Exchange rate US$1 = Baht 25 
2) 1995 and 1996 figures are estimated 
3) Figures are in $millions 
 
Plastics Production Machinery 
 
Rank of Sector: 22 
Name of Sector: Plastics Production Machinery 
ITA Industry Code:  PME 
 
Narrative: 
 
Although manufacturers of plastics products are expected to face 
shortages and high prices of raw materials and resins for plastics in 
1995 and 1996, the Thai plastics industry is still expected to grow by 
10 percent per year during the 1995-1997 period.  Demand for plastics 
production machinery is met mainly by imports. 
 
U.S. plastics production machinery is well accepted locally for its 
reliability, but U.S. firms have only a three percent market share.  
This is due to the high prices of U.S. machines and a lack of market 
promotional efforts.  Japan is the main supplier (40 to 50 percent 
market share) of plastics production machinery to Thailand, followed by 
Germany, Taiwan, and China. 
 
The most promising subsectors are: 
 
-  Injection molding machines 
-  Extruders 
-  Replacement parts 
 
Data Table: 
                                  1994        1995        1996 
 
a. Total Market Size               533         587         646 
b. Total Local Production           67          74          81 
c. Total Exports                    40          44          48 
d. Total Imports                   506         557         613 
e. Imports from the U.S.            17          19          21 
 
1) Exchange rate US$1 = Baht 25 
2) 1995 and 1996 figures are estimated 
3) Figures are in $millions 
 
VI.  TRADE REGULATIONS AND STANDARDS 
 
Trade Barriers 
 
Thailand's present import policy is to maintain significant tariff 
barriers on most products, with current duty rates in the zero to 60 
percent range for a majority of the products on which duties are 
collected.  However, duty exemptions are routinely granted to firms with 
investment promotion privileges, and rebates of import duties on raw 
materials are granted upon export of the finished product. 
 
In compliance with GATT Uruguay Round commitments, a simplified import 
regime will result in a system of only six rates and a maximum duty for 
almost all products of 30 percent.  Duties on most types of machinery 
were reduced from 30-40 percent to five percent in 1990.  Duty 
reductions were made on imported computers and parts to five and one 
percent respectively.  Duties were lowered on ferrous metals and 
chemicals in January, 1993 and non-ferrous metals and many miscellaneous 
items in January, 1994.  In March, 1994 reductions were announced on 417 
items (mechanical, electrical, and optical/measuring/medical 
categories).  The average duties on the items fell from 28 to 14 
percent, and in some cases duties were almost totally eliminated (e.g. 
medical equipment). 
 
High tariffs remain major barriers to U.S. exports of value-added 
agricultural products and apparel.  At present, duties on most 
agricultural products, notably processed food products, are at 60 
percent ad valorem or at an equivalent or higher specific duty.  High 
tariffs on beef, turkey, fresh and dried fruits and nuts, fruit juice, 
and processed food products currently present a substantial barrier to 
U.S. agricultural exports to Thailand.  A surcharge on soybean meal 
imports is another significant restraint on U.S. agricultural exports to 
Thailand.  Duties on wine and spirits are the higher of an ad valorem 
duty of 60 percent or a specific duty ranging from 10 to 110 Thai baht 
(USD .40 to USD 4.40) per liter, depending on the variety.  Imported 
alcoholic beverages are also assessed a separate excise duty at rates 
varying from 10 to 48 percent. 
 
Separate excise duties are assessed on a number of other imported 
products such as tobacco and some electrical and petroleum products.  
Many textile and apparel products are currently subject to the higher of 
an ad valorem or specific duty.  
 
Customs Valuation 
 
Arbitrary customs valuation procedures constitute an import barrier to 
U.S. exports. The Customs Department keeps records of the highest 
declared prices of products imported into Thailand from invoices of 
previous shipments, and uses these "check prices" to assess tariffs on 
subsequent shipments of similar products from the same country.  Customs 
may therefore disregard actual invoiced values in favor of the check 
price, a practice which particularly affects agricultural products with 
seasonally fluctuating prices.  For products shipped from a country 
other than the country of origin, the Customs Department reserves the 
option to use the check price of either the country of origin or the 
country of shipment, whichever is higher.  These rules are applied to 
imports from all nations.  Thailand will conform to customs valuation 
procedures agreed to in the Uruguay Round by the year 2000.   
 
Import Licenses 
 
The Thai Ministry of Commerce requires import licenses on certain raw 
materials, petroleum, textiles, and industrial and agricultural 
products. While licensing requirements have been dropped on a number of 
items in recent years, licenses are still required for some 43 
categories of items. In the food products area, licensing requirements 
remain for powdered skim milk and fresh milk, potatoes, soy beans and 
soy bean oil, and refined sugar, among others.  Many of these licensing 
requirements will be eliminated as Thailand completes the adjustments 
necessary to conform to its Uruguay round commitments. 
 
Food and pharmaceutical product importers are also required to apply for 
import licenses from the Thai Food and Drug Administration. The 
licensing process is time consuming and costly, and requires the 
disclosure of proprietary information.  Licenses cost $600 per item. 
Products imported in bulk require laboratory analysis at a cost of $40 
to $120 per item. Products imported in sealed containers (consumer-ready 
packages) require laboratory analysis at a cost of $200 per item. Some 
39 items must be registered as "specific controlled food items" at an 
additional cost of $200.  Although the Thai Food and Drug Administration 
has made efforts to streamline the registration process, it usually 
requires three months or more to complete.  
 
Export Controls 
 
Thailand maintains few restrictions on exports, except when related to 
national security, environmental protection, and cultural concerns, or 
pursuant to trade agreements (such as international commodity 
agreements, agreements governing the textile and apparel trade, 
agreements on subsidies and dumping, etc.)  Thailand's quota program for 
the export of textiles and apparel is administered by the Department of 
Foreign Trade under the Ministry of Commerce. 
 
Import/Export Documentation 
 
Customs procedures require the submission of an export entry form or 
import entry form, along with several other documents (invoice,  packing 
list, bill of lading, letter of credit, etc.) to the customs officer.  
An advance entry system has been implemented to assist importers, in 
which all documents may be submitted and processed prior to the arrival 
of goods.  Upon arrival, then, only assessed duty and port charges 
remain to be paid.  Imported food items must be registered with the Thai 
Food and Drug Agency, which at times can be a difficult and time 
consuming task. 
 
Under the Cosmetic Act, B.E. 2517, of 1974, both a method of analysis 
for that substance in final product form, as well as efficacy data 
showing consumer benefit, for all substances included as a part of a 
cosmetic product's labeling must be submitted to the Thai FDA for 
approval. 
 
Controlled cosmetics are also subject to product registration besides 
normal licensing requirements.  To secure an import permit, product 
samples, quantitative formula, notarized/legalized letter guaranteeing 
compliance with the Thai cosmetics regulations, and identification of 
preservatives must be submitted to the Thai FDA. The following are 
needed to register controlled products (in addition to those 
requirements needed to secure a permanent import permit): method of 
analysis for the controlled (active) substance, and compendia references 
for all non-active ingredients. 
 
U.S. medical equipment must have a "certification of products for 
export" issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and duly 
certified by the Royal Thai Embassy in Washington, D.C., or by the 
American Embassy in Thailand. 
 
Temporary Entry 
 
Thailand has joined the ATA Carnet System.  Therefore, products for 
exhibitions or demonstrations can be imported for up to six months 
without payment of custom duties and value added tax.  Businesses must 
obtain a bank guarantee for the value of the imports.  If the product is 
not re-exported within six months, the duties and tax will then be 
levied. 
 
Labeling, Marking Requirements 
 
Labels must be registered with the Thai Food and Drug Administration and 
affixed to imported food products.  It is required that labels bear 
information identifying the product name, its description, net weight or 
volume, and manufacturing/expiration dates.  If food is imported for 
sale to restaurants, in addition to the above, labels must identify the 
manufacturer or distributor's name and address, and the product/label 
registration number.  Labels must be printed in Thai (not required for  
alcoholic beverages).   
 
Prohibited Imports 
 
Imports of only a few products, including aerosol mixtures of vinyl 
chloride monomers (for health reasons) and products constituting 
trademark infringement, are actually banned by Thailand.  However, as 
noted above, imports of a larger number of items require licenses from 
various Thai ministries, and licenses to import some of these products 
may not be routinely available. 
 
Standards 
 
Only 39 Thai companies are certified to be in compliance with ISO 9000 
international standards for quality in design, production, installation 
and servicing.  Some of these companies are:  Esso Standard Thailand 
Limited, Shell Thailand Manufacturing Limited, Alphatec Electronics Co., 
Ltd., Union Plastics Limited, SONY Magnetic Products (Thailand) Co., 
Ltd., Thai Micro Systems Technology Corporation Limited, The Siam 
Refractory Industry Co., Ltd., Fujitsu (Thailand) Co. Ltd., Filthai Co., 
Ltd., the Siam Cement Public Co. Ltd., and the Thai CRT Co., Ltd. 
 
Thailand has its own national standards specifications, Thailand 
Industrial Standard (TIS), to which most other companies operating in 
Thailand adhere. 
 
Free Trade Zones/Warehouses 
 
Thailand has several Export Processing Zones (EPZs).  Firms located in 
EPZs are exempt from import duties and other taxes on factory 
construction materials, machinery and equipment, and export 
manufacturing inputs.  Within EPZs, foreign investors are permitted to 
own land and employ foreign technicians and experts.  EPZs are generally 
co-located with industrial estates developed either by the Thai 
Industrial Estate Authority or by the private sector and therefore have 
full infrastructure facilities and generally good access to 
transportation. 
 
The Customs Department allows larger firms engaged exclusively in 
manufacturing for export to set up bonded warehouses and to import 
(duty-free) inputs for their export production.  Producers who receive 
approval to establish bonded warehouses must submit guarantees for 
duties which would otherwise be payable and to pay an annual fee. 
 
Membership in Free Trade Arrangements 
 
Thailand is a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations 
(ASEAN).  In 1992 leaders of ASEAN governments approved a Thai proposal 
to establish the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA), which aims to reduce 
tariffs on most processed agricultural and industrial products traded 
among ASEAN countries to 0-5 percent by the year 2007.  The agreed date 
for completing the implementation of AFTA has been moved up to the year 
2003.  Other ASEAN members are Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the 
Philippines, and Singapore.  Together, ASEAN -- and AFTA -- make up a 
market of over $400 billion that grew 7.8 percent in 1994.  While 
Thailand has begun a program of phased reductions to meet the tariff 
reduction target, the extent of AFTA's coverage and the extent of 
participation of each member country remains to be finalized.  Thai 
officials have said that they favor expanding AFTA to include other 
countries in the region, and a possible linkage between AFTA and the 
Australia-New Zealand free trade arrangement is being discussed. 
 
VII.  INVESTMENT CLIMATE 
 
Openness To Foreign Investment 
 
The Royal Thai Government maintains an open, market-oriented economy and 
encourages foreign direct investment as a means of promoting economic 
development, employment and technology transfer.  Thailand welcomes 
investment from all countries and seeks to avoid dependence on any one 
country. 
 
Laws Governing Foreign Ownership 
 
The U.S.-Thai Treaty of Amity and Economic Relations of 1966 allows U.S. 
citizens and businesses incorporated in the U.S. or in Thailand that are 
majority-owned by U.S. citizens to engage in business on the same basis 
as Thais, exempting them from most of the restrictions on foreign 
investment imposed by the Alien Business Law of 1972.  In return, Thais 
are extended reciprocal rights to invest in the U.S. and Thai business 
persons are eligible to receive U.S. visas as "treaty traders" and 
"treaty investors."  Under the Treaty, Thailand restricts American 
investment only in the fields of communications, transport, fiduciary 
functions, banking, the exploitation of land or other natural resources, 
and domestic trade in agricultural products.  Notwithstanding their 
treaty rights, many Americans choose to form joint ventures with Thai 
partners and allow them to hold the majority stake because of their 
familiarity with the Thai economy and local regulations. 
 
In the Uruguay Round negotiations, all parties agreed that the Treaty of 
Amity would be exempted from "most favored nation" (MFN) requirements 
for 10 years, beginning with the establishment of the World Trade 
Organization in January, 1995.  During the remainder of the 10 year 
period, Thailand is expected to continue liberalizing its investment 
regime, eventually granting to all foreigners substantially the same 
privileges granted to American investors under the Treaty.  There is no 
need for early action on the Treaty.  However, if the Thai government 
moves to renegotiate or abrogate the Treaty, benefits currently enjoyed 
by both Americans and Thais may be eliminated, adversely affecting the 
investment climate. 
 
Under the Alien Business Law of 1972 (National Executive Council 
Announcement No. 281) non-Thais are permitted a maximum ownership stake 
of up to 49 percent in firms operating in certain sectors, including 
agricultural activities, certain manufacturing and food processing 
activities (especially those based on agricultural resources indigenous 
to Thailand), and most professional services.  A revision of the Alien 
Business Law is currently under consideration by the Thai government, 
which aims to reduce the number of businesses reserved for Thai 
nationals and to generally liberalize the law.  It is not clear when a 
revision of the Alien Business Law will pass Parliament, whose members 
were elected on July 2, 1995.  Other laws limit foreign ownership of 
companies listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at various levels 
between 15 and 65 per cent.   
 
American citizens can enter Thailand without a visa for visits up to 30 
days.  In order to apply for a work permit, a foreigner must enter 
Thailand on a non-immigrant visa which is issued at Thai embassies and 
consulates for a stay of three months or, for foreigners with well-
defined work or business plans, for a stay of one year.  Issuance of the 
three-month visa is usually completed within two or three days; the one-
year visa requires approval from the Office of the Immigration Bureau of 
the Royal Thai Police Department in Bangkok.  Upon obtaining a work 
permit, a holder of a three-month visa may apply for a one-year visa, 
which can generally be extended every year.  Foreigners who hold non-
immigrant visas and have lived in Thailand for at least three 
consecutive years may apply for permanent residence in Thailand if they 
meet strict criteria regarding investment or professional skills. 
 
The Alien Occupation Law of 1972 (Decree No. 322) lists the occupations 
reserved exclusively for Thais, which include professional services such 
as accounting, architecture, law and engineering, the manufacture of 
traditional Thai handicrafts, and manual labor.  The law also states 
that all non-Thais working in Thailand, with limited exceptions, must 
possess a work permit issued at the discretion of the Ministry of Labor 
and Social Welfare, although some foreigners already working in Thailand 
were exempted through a "grandfather" clause.  The factors that 
influence the granting of work permits are the degree of specialization 
required by the position, the size of the firm in terms of number of 
employees and registered capitalization, and the ratio of Thai nationals 
to foreigners employed by the firm. Foreigners working for the Royal 
Thai Government or working for projects promoted by the Board of 
Investment usually have little difficulty obtaining work permits.  Work 
permits in other areas are sometimes difficult to obtain, despite the 
fact that senior managers and technical personnel are in short supply.   
 
Any entity wishing to do business in Thailand must register with the 
Department of Commercial Registration in the Ministry of Commerce.  
Firms engaging in production activities need to register with the 
Ministries of Industry and Labor. 
 
Non-Thai businesses and citizens are not permitted to own land in 
Thailand unless given permission by the Board of Investment or unless 
the land is on government-approved industrial estates.  Petroleum 
concessionaires also may own land necessary for their activities.  Many 
foreign businesses instead sign long-term leases and then construct 
buildings on the leased land.  Non-Thais are allowed to own up to 40 
percent of a condominium building, though other restrictions apply.   
Qualified legal advice is recommended for Americans planning to invest 
in Thailand.  This is particularly important because Thai business 
regulations are governed predominantly by criminal rather than civil 
law.  Violation of Thai business regulations can carry heavy criminal 
penalties and criminal liability can be assessed under 52 different 
laws. 
 
The Board of Investment (BOI), established through the Investment 
Promotion Act of 1977, is Thailand's central investment promotion 
authority.  The BOI lists seven categories of economic activities, 
covering hundreds of types of businesses, that are eligible for 
investment incentives.  Some sectors, such as the manufacture of parts 
for engines, machinery, and electrical and electronic products, are 
eligible for all available incentives.  Investment privileges have been 
suspended in over 30 sectors in which the BOI believes there is no need 
to encourage further investment, such as the production of canned tuna 
for export.  Generally, the most generous incentives are offered to 
those economic activities that bring new technology to Thailand. 
 
The BOI encourages investment in sectors and locations that help 
Thailand achieve its economic development goals by awarding a wide range 
of fiscal and other incentives to local and foreign investors.  
Potential investors whose projects meet any or all of the following 
criteria are eligible for BOI incentives:  significantly strengthen 
Thailand's balance of payments position, especially through production 
for export; support the development of the country's resources; 
substantially increase employment; locate operations in provinces 
outside the Bangkok metropolitan area; conserve energy or replace 
imported energy supplies; establish or develop industries which form the 
base for further technological development; or are considered important 
and necessary by the government.   
 
In 1993 the BOI initiated a major shift in emphasis from export 
orientation to industrial decentralization as its major policy goal.  
This new policy is intended to spur development outside the Bangkok 
metropolitan area in the countryside where the population is employed 
primarily in the labor intensive agricultural sector, which accounted 
for only 12 percent of Thailand's GDP in 1993.  During the period 1991-
1994, BOI approved investment projects valued at $4.16 billion involving 
American firms.   
 
Board of Investment Incentives 
 
Tax incentives:  Exemption or 50 percent reduction of import duties on 
imported machinery; reduction of import duties of up to 90 percent on 
imported raw materials and components; exemption from corporate income 
taxes for three to eight years and deduction (in case of loss) of annual 
loss from net profits carried forward for up to five years; and 
exclusion from taxable income of dividends derived from promoted 
enterprises during the income tax holiday. 
 
Permission:  To bring in foreign nationals to undertake investment 
feasibility studies; to bring in foreign technicians and experts to work 
under promoted projects; to own land for carrying out promoted 
activities.   
 
Guarantees:  Against nationalization; against competition by new state 
enterprises; against state monopolization of the sale of products 
similar to those produced by promoted firms; against price controls; 
against tax exempt import by government agencies or state enterprises of 
competitive products; and of permission to export. 
 
BOI benefits that offer the greatest advantage over unpromoted 
industries are the tax incentives, though their value has declined in 
recent years with the general reduction of import duties and elimination 
of the former business tax system.  The value added tax (VAT) law, which 
eliminated the business tax system, has no provision for the BOI to 
offer VAT exemption or reduction. 
 
There are certain restrictions on eligibility for BOI benefits that link 
the minimum export level of a project to its minimum Thai shareholding 
level.  For projects manufacturing mainly for the domestic market, Thai 
nationals must hold not less than 51 percent of the registered capital 
for the project to be eligible for BOI benefits.  When at least 50 
percent of the output is to be exported, foreign investors may be 
granted permission to hold a majority of the shares, and where 100 
percent of production is to be exported, foreign investors may hold all 
of the shares.  Additionally, for projects based on local resources 
(e.g., agriculture, animal husbandry, fisheries, mineral exploration and 
mining), Thai nationals must hold at least 60 percent of the registered 
capital. 
 
Investors must submit an application form along with supporting 
documentation to be considered for incentives.  In most cases, the BOI 
decides within 60 days whether or not a project is eligible for 
investment privileges.  Once a Promotion Certificate has been awarded, 
an investor must start construction within six months, import all 
machinery and equipment exempted from import duties within 24 months, 
and complete construction within 30 months. 
 
Conversion and Transfer Policies 
 
Thailand has a stable currency, the baht, which fluctuates little from 
its exchange rate of roughly 25.0 to the dollar, although the baht had 
appreciated somewhat, to 24.56 to the dollar, as of April 1995.  
Thailand has simplified reporting requirements and has removed most 
restrictions on the amount of foreign exchange and Thai currency that 
may be brought into the country.  Repatriation of investment funds, 
dividends and profits, as well as loan repayments and interest payments 
thereon, may be made freely and promptly, net of all taxes.  Foreign 
exchange is easily available from commercial banks.   
 
Expropriation and Compensation 
 
Private property can be expropriated for public purposes in accordance 
with Thai law, which provides for due process and compensation.  In 
general, U.S. firms have not had problems with expropriation in 
Thailand. 
 
Dispute Settlement 
 
Disputes such as the enforcement of property or contract rights have 
generally been resolved through the Thai courts.  In addition, companies 
may establish their own arbitration agreement.  At present, Thailand is 
not a member of the International Center for the Settlement of 
Investment Disputes. However, as a member of the New York Convention, 
Thailand enacted the Arbitration Act of 1987 that set its own rules on 
conciliation and arbitration. These are overseen by the Arbitration 
Office of the Thai Ministry of Justice. 
 
Political Violence 
 
Thailand has a history of frequent changes in government, often via 
military intervention onto the political scene.  A military coup in 
January, 1991 was followed by political unrest in early 1992, 
culminating in a tragic confrontation in the streets of Bangkok in May, 
1992 in which over 50 civilian demonstrators were killed.  The "May 
Events" were a real shock to the Thai political system, and seemed to 
have stimulated a remarkable democratic recovery.  The government of 
Prime Minister Chuan, which left office in July, 1995, devoted much 
effort to strengthening democratic institutions, including working with 
the military -- long a force in Thai politics -- to adopt an appropriate 
role in a post-Cold War world.   
 
Despite the changes in governments over the years, Thai economic 
policies have remained remarkably consistent, characterized by openness 
to the outside world, fiscal conservatism, and a preference for letting 
the private sector do what it does best.  There is no significant 
segment of the Thai political spectrum that disagrees with these policy 
fundamentals.  The new Banharn government is expected to pursue the same 
primary goals as the Chuan government.  For these reasons, Thailand's 
economy, and the confidence of the domestic and foreign private sectors, 
have shown consistent growth in recent years.   
 
Performance Requirements/Incentives 
 
As discussed earlier, the Board of Investment may establish certain 
requirements in exchange for its incentives.  These requirements may 
include linking the minimum export level of a project to its minimum 
Thai shareholding level or restricting investment to certain sectors or 
certain locations. 
 
As noted above, under the Treaty of Amity and Economic Relations,  
Americans are restricted from being the majority shareholders in 
investments in the fields of communications, transport, banking, 
exploitation of land or other natural resources, and domestic trade in 
agricultural products.  In addition, under the Alien Business Law, non-
Thais are permitted a maximum ownership stake of not more than 49 
percent in certain sectors, including agricultural activities, certain 
manufacturing and food processing activities, and most professional 
services.  Foreign investors in most Thai companies in the financial 
sector, including banks, finance and security companies, and insurance 
companies, are limited to a 25 percent total foreign holding, although 
several companies have been "grandfathered" and allowed to maintain 
foreign participation well above this limit.  Other laws also limit the 
percentage of foreign ownership in specific business undertakings, such 
as ownership of aircraft and vessels. 
 
Right to Private Ownership and Establishment 
 
Private entities may establish and own business enterprises.  The 
principal forms of business organization under Thai law are sole 
proprietorships, partnerships, limited companies, and public limited 
companies.  In addition, branches of foreign corporations are recognized 
and a "representative" or "liaison" office of a foreign company may 
receive special recognition.  Irrespective of the form of the business 
entity, most businesses must apply for business registration.  
Establishment of a business in certain sectors by a foreign entity may 
be restricted by the Alien Business Law or may not benefit from the 
Amity Treaty as discussed above. 
 
A Thai private limited company is similar to a corporation in the United 
States, and may be wholly owned by a foreigner unless the corporation is 
involved in a business activity reserved for Thai nationals.  A public 
limited company is allowed to offer its shares to the public.  Numerous 
laws pertaining to individual industries limit foreign ownership of 
companies listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand to as little as 15 
percent, though the limitation is generally higher.  In a few cases, 
majority foreign ownership of listed companies is allowed by law.   
 
Protection of Property Rights 
 
Although protection for copyrights, patents, and trademarks in Thailand 
is improving, intellectual property protection remains a key bilateral 
issue.  The Thai Parliament passed a new copyright law in late 1994, 
which became effective on March 21, 1995.  This new law resolved many 
concerns of American holders of intellectual property and resulted in 
Thailand being removed from the "Priority Watch List" under Section 301 
of the U.S. Trade Act.  Other significant steps have included the 
creation of an Intellectual Property Department within the Ministry of 
Commerce, increased legal expertise in intellectual property matters 
within the police and the Justice Ministry, and Cabinet approval of an 
International Trade and Intellectual Property Court.  This court will be 
the first of its kind in Southeast Asia when it comes into operation, 
probably in 1996. 
 
Thailand is working on improved patent laws to protect plant varieties, 
petty patents, and geographical indicators.  The draft bills are due out 
of the Intellectual Property Department and before the Parliament 
sometime in 1995.  These changes should solve shortcomings in earlier 
patent legislation; Thai officials have promised administrative efforts 
to remedy residual concerns. 
 
The Copyright Act of 1994 extended copyright protection explicitly to 
computer software and increased fines and penalties against all 
infringers.  Thailand is a member of the Berne Convention and a founding 
member of the World Trade Organization.  As such, the Royal Thai 
Government is taking the steps necessary to be in compliance with both 
groups -- the copyright law and the proposed revised patent laws should 
ensure such compliance. 
 
While Thailand's legal structure for the protection of property rights 
is reaching world-class standards, enforcement continues to be a 
problem.  While the new copyright law provides increased authority for 
the police to stage raids, other Thai laws require that the aggrieved 
party take an active role in protecting its copyrights, trademarks, and 
patents.  There is no such thing as a blanket authorization for a raid, 
so the police can respond only to a specific complaint.  Once the 
complaint is made, the complainant needs to take an active role in the 
raid and prosecution, helping the police identify pirated or counterfeit 
goods and supporting them throughout the prosecution.  Increased fines 
and penalties, from 100,000 baht to 800,000 baht ($4,000 to $32,000) 
under the new copyright law, as well as continuing confiscations of 
pirated goods, will raise the cost of piracy, perhaps even to a 
prohibitive level. 
 
Regulatory System: Laws and Procedures 
 
In 1992, Thailand introduced a seven percent value-added tax (VAT), 
replacing the previous multi-tier business tax that imposed 21 different 
tax rates depending on the product.  For companies with annual turnover 
of between $24,000 and $48,000, the government instituted a 1.5 percent 
turnover tax as an alternative.  Companies with annual turnover of less 
than $24,000 are exempt from the VAT.  The VAT covers manufacturers, the 
service sector, wholesalers and retailers, and most importers.  Some 
businesses will not be subject to the VAT but instead will pay a 
specific business tax (about 2.5-3.0 percent in most cases) on their 
revenues.  These businesses include banking, finance, securities, 
insurance, pawning and real estate.  Companies selling securities on the 
Stock Exchange of Thailand pay only at a 0.1 percent rate.  Almost all 
state enterprises are also subject to the VAT.  Exporters are "zero-
rated" but must still file VAT returns to receive rebates.  Exemptions 
to the VAT include businesses involved in raw agricultural products 
(except logs), animals, fertilizers, newspapers, educational services, 
leased immovable properties, and domestic transportation. 
 
The new tax measures also unified corporate tax rates at 30 percent of 
net profits for all firms.  Previously, firms not listed on the Stock 
Exchange of Thailand paid a 35 percent marginal rate.  The income tax 
withholding rate on both the payment of dividends and the remittance of 
after-tax profits was reduced to 10 percent.  The tax rate on the 
payment abroad of income for companies not officially established in 
Thailand was reduced from 25 percent to 15 percent.  The disposal of 
profits abroad is now defined to include amounts set aside for the 
payment or settling of a debt.  It includes applications to convert or 
transfer abroad foreign currencies arising from the profits of the 
business. 
 
The new measures favor companies which contribute to public welfare.  
These companies can now deduct up to two percent of net profit for 
contributions to authorized public charities, education and sports.  In 
addition, companies are authorized to revalue their assets, which must 
still be depreciated at the same rate, but value increases will not be 
considered additional company income. 
 
Thailand reduced its highest marginal tax rate on personal income from 
50 percent to 37 percent, effective January 1, 1992.  In addition, the 
regulations substantially increased the amount of personal deductions. 
 
In recent years, Thai governments have reviewed and restructured customs 
duties in some important areas.  The import duty on machinery was 
lowered from 20-40 percent to five percent in 1990.  In 1991, Thailand 
also reduced duties on new computer units from 20 percent to five 
percent and computer parts to one percent.  Duties on automobiles with 
engines over 2400 cc were cut from 200 percent to 68.5 percent while 
duties on cars with smaller engines fell from 100 to 42 percent.  
Customs duties on automobile components for assembly in Thailand fell 
from 112 to 20 percent. 
 
Thailand also adjusted existing taxes and introduced new excise taxes to 
partially offset the expected loss in revenue from reduced customs 
duties and the implementation of the VAT.  Products subject to the 
excise tax include automobiles, yachts, perfumes, horse racing, tobacco, 
and large air conditioners.  The Thai government also equalized excise 
taxes on imported and domestically-produced alcoholic beverages and 
playing cards to conform with Thailand's GATT obligations. 
 
Thailand has double taxation treaties with 26 countries including 
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, and 
Germany.  Generally, these agreements eliminate double taxation on 
income in Thailand and the home country and reduce tax liabilities for 
non-residents and foreign companies operating or investing in Thailand.  
Negotiations for a double taxation treaty with the U.S. are ongoing.   
 
The framework for addressing Thailand's massive environmental problems 
on a national scale was established in 1992 with the passage of major 
legislation affecting all aspects of Thai industry and trade.  Among the 
significant pieces of legislation passed were the Enhancement and 
Conservation of National Environmental Quality Act (NEQA), the Hazardous 
Substances Act and the Factories Act.  While implementing legislation 
and enforcement procedures are lagging in many areas, it is anticipated 
that the current and future market for environmental goods and services 
will be significant.   
 
Thailand provided tax incentives to encourage the use of unleaded gas 
when it was introduced in 1991.  Unleaded now accounts for more than 40 
percent of all premium gasoline sales.  In addition, Thailand passed 
regulations to reduce lead content in gasoline and ban leaded gas 
entirely by 1996.  The Thai government's requirement of catalytic 
converters in all new automobiles was implemented in two stages 
beginning in January 1993. 
 
Capital Markets and Portfolio Investment 
 
In recent years, the Thai government has taken steps to modernize and 
deregulate Thailand's financial sector.  Capital flows are increasing, 
with net capital movement into Thailand amounting to $14.1 billion in 
1994, about 10 percent of GDP. As the government's policy of 
liberalizing financial markets continues, capital is increasingly 
allocated according to market forces.   
 
There are 15 domestic banks in Thailand and 14 foreign banks.  Many 
other foreign banks have representative offices.  The Bank of Thailand 
has issued 47 licenses to operate Bangkok International Banking Facility 
(BIBF) offices, which are offshore banking operations.  The private 
sector has access to a variety of credit instruments through foreign and 
domestic lenders.   
 
Thailand has an active equities market, with issues traded on the Stock 
Exchange of Thailand (SET).  At the end of 1994, the SET had 389 quoted 
companies.  Market capitalization of the SET was $131 billion, about 90 
percent of Thailand's annual GDP.  A formal bond trading market was 
established in 1994, but the secondary debt market in Thailand is not 
well developed.  The Thai government is encouraging the development of a 
bond market through improved regulation, changes in tax policy and the 
establishment of an independent rating agency.  Businesses have 
traditionally relied on loans from financial institutions, overdrafts 
and the equity market for mobilizing funds.     
 
Bilateral Investment Agreements 
 
The U.S.-Thai Treaty of Amity and Economic Relations of 1966, discussed 
above, allows U.S. citizens and businesses incorporated in the U.S. or 
in Thailand that are majority owned by U.S. citizens to engage in 
business on the same basis as Thais, exempting them from most of the 
restrictions on foreign investment imposed by the Alien Business Decree 
of 1972.  Under the Treaty, Thailand is permitted to apply restrictions 
to American investment only in the fields of communications, transport, 
banking, the exploitation of land or other natural resources, and 
domestic trade in agricultural products.  Thailand also has bilateral 
investment agreements with Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom 
and China.  These agreements establish guidelines for expropriation 
compensation and the repatriation of capital but do not include national 
treatment provisions. 
 
Labor 
 
The Thai labor force totals 33.8 million out of a 1994 population of 
59.1 million, according to government estimates.  This figure includes 
all Thais 13 years of age and older who are actively seeking work.  
Approximately nine million Thais over the age of 13 -- students, 
housewives, and retired or disabled persons -- are considered outside 
the workforce.  Unemployment in 1994 was estimated at 3.3 percent. 
 
Despite rapid growth in the industrial and service sectors, the Thai 
economy and the Thai workforce remain traditional to a large degree.  
Official estimates show 59 percent of those employed are still engaged 
in agriculture, either on a part-time or full-time basis.  It is common 
for rural laborers to take jobs off the farm during slack periods in the 
planting and harvest cycle, or to carry on a small business in addition 
to farm work.  The shift of workers from the agricultural sector is 
continuing; the proportion of those working the land continues to drop, 
especially in the Northeast where agricultural productivity is marginal.  
As a consequence, there is a constant flow of rural, generally unskilled 
Thais seeking work in Bangkok and the more industrialized regions, both 
as seasonal workers and on a permanent basis.  This availability of 
migrant labor has contributed to Thailand's rapid industrial growth, 
particularly in the light manufacturing and construction sectors.  
 
The labor market for those with at least a secondary education is 
increasingly tight.  Among highly-skilled and experienced engineers, 
technicians and managers, labor shortages are severe.  Many 
multinational firms are bringing in expatriate professionals not to 
oversee and control investments, but because qualified local personnel 
are simply not available, even at high salaries.  "Poaching" personnel 
in the hotel management, financial, computer and engineering industries 
is common. 
 
Thailand's education system is still geared toward the needs of a 
largely agrarian, traditional economy and society.  The government has 
made great progress over the last two decades in providing basic 
education.  Primary enrollment in Thailand is now about 95 per cent and 
the adult literacy rate is reportedly one of the best in the region.  
However, compulsory education is only through grade six;  nine years 
will be compulsory under the Eighth Economic and Social Development Plan 
from 1997 to 2002.  In 1993, Thailand had 725,000 students enrolled in 
public and private colleges and universities, including those studying 
in foreign countries, or about 8.5 percent of the 18-24 age group. 
 
All employers must specify the terms of employment for their staff, and 
employers with 10 or more employees are required to specify working 
regulations.  The normal work week is 54 hours for commercial workers 
and 48 hours for industrial workers, with overtime payable at one and a 
half times the wage rate for any work in excess of these limits.  In 
establishments where work is deemed dangerous or a risk to health or 
personal safety, working hours may not exceed 42 hours a week.  All 
employees are entitled to a vacation of six work days a year, in 
addition to the 13 holidays traditionally observed in Thailand.  There 
is a Workman's Compensation Fund covering injury, sickness and death to 
which all businesses with 10 or more employees must contribute.  The 
employment of children under the age of 13 is prohibited and there are 
restrictions on the employment of children and youths through the age of 
18.  Further, the Social Security Act, which has been in effect since 
1990, requires employers with 10 or more employees to contribute 1.5 
percent of the employees' wages for injury, sickness, disability, death 
and maternity.  Employer and employee contributions to provident funds 
are encouraged.  Employer contributions for old age pensions, family 
allowances and unemployment compensation may be required in the next few 
years. 
 
The labor relations climate in Thailand is generally peaceful with 
strikes relatively infrequent.  Less than two percent of the total labor 
force is unionized; about 10 percent of the industrial workforce is 
organized.  After the military coup in 1991, the new government enacted 
the State Enterprise Labor Relations Act abolishing state enterprise 
labor unions, which had been the backbone of the organized labor 
movement.  Largely as a result of this, the AFL-CIO filed a petition 
with the U.S. Government to have Thailand's GSP privileges removed for 
violations of worker rights.  The AFL-CIO petition also cited violations 
of workplace safety standards and abuse of child labor. A new State 
Enterprise Labor Relations Act, which would restore many of the rights 
of state enterprise employees, died when the lower house of Parliament 
was dissolved in May, 1995.  The petition was still under review as of 
May, 1995. 
 
Foreign Trade Zones/Free Ports  
 
Thailand has 17 export processing zones in which businesses may import 
raw materials and export finished products free of duty.  In addition to 
these zones, any factory may apply for permission to establish a bonded 
warehouse within the factory to which raw materials, used exclusively in 
the production of products for export, may be imported free of duty. 
 
The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) was responsible for 
the establishment of the first industrial estates in Thailand, including 
the major industrial estates of Laem Chabang Industrial Estate in 
Chonburi Province and Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate in Rayong Province.  
However, more recently the private sector has become involved in estate 
planning.  The IEAT runs three estates, plus 20 more in joint operations 
with the private sector.  The private sector operates 14 industrial 
estates.  Most of these estates have received promotional privileges 
from the Board of Investment. 
 
Capital Outflow Policy 
 
Thai investment abroad is rising rapidly.  Thai companies have been 
generally investing in the U.S., Europe, Japan and some Asian countries.  
For example, Siam Cement has started a joint venture with an Italian 
firm to sell ceramic tiles in the U.S.; Saha Union Company took over a 
thread-spinning mill in Georgia; and CP Group formed a joint venture 
with Chinese state enterprises to produce motorcycles.  In addition, to 
obtain raw materials, Thailand has invested in China, Indonesia and the 
three Indochinese countries.  In 1993, Thailand established an Export-
Import Bank to finance credit for the sale of Thai products abroad. 
 
The Ministry of Finance still requires that foreign exchange 
transactions for the purchase of real estate or equities outside 
Thailand receive prior permission.   
 
Major Foreign Investors 
 
Prior to the Plaza Accord in 1985 which had the effect of strengthening 
the yen against the dollar, the U.S. was the leading foreign investor in 
Thailand with approximately 30 percent of total investment.  Japan 
followed with approximately 25 percent of the investment.  The high yen 
forced Japanese manufacturers to re-locate production offshore, mainly 
in Southeast Asia.  During the period 1989-1993, the Japanese were the 
major investors in Thailand in every year except 1992.  A new wave of 
Japanese investment is expected in the wake of the rapid appreciation of 
the yen against the dollar in early 1995.  
 
American investment in Thailand tends to be concentrated within the top 
25 U.S. firms.  These firms account for at least 80 percent of U.S. 
investment in Thailand, which the Embassy estimated in 1994 to total 
between $9 and $10 billion.  Besides the U.S. and Japan, other major 
investors in Thailand include Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong. 
 
Embassy Support 
 
The Embassy in Bangkok is prepared to assist U.S. businesses interested 
in establishing commercial relations in Thailand.  Business visitors to 
Bangkok are welcome to discuss commercial interests with appropriate 
Embassy personnel.  The Embassy is located at 95 Wireless Road (tel: 66-
2/252-5040).  The U.S. Commercial Service also has an office in Bangkok 
at the Diethelm Building, Tower A, 3rd Floor (tel: 66-2/255-4365, fax: 
255-2915).  In addition, the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in 
Thailand continues to promote the interests of U.S. businesses and 
investors.  AmCham has over 500 members, and is located at 140 Wireless 
Road, P.O. Box 11-1095, Bangkok, Thailand (telephone: 66-2/251-9266/7, 
fax: 255-2454).  
 
VIII.  TRADE AND PROJECT FINANCING 
 
The Banking System 
 
Commercial banks traditionally dominated the Thai financial system.  
However, as Thailand's economy expands and diversifies, so do its 
financial markets. At the end of 1993, commercial bank deposits 
accounted for about 37 percent of all financial assets in Thailand 
(compared with 70 percent in 1986).  There are 29 commercial banks in 
Thailand, 15 domestic and 14 foreign, including four American banks.  
These four banks are Citibank, Chase Manhattan Bank, Bank of America, 
and Bank of America (Asia) Ltd. (formerly Security Pacific Bank). There 
are also 43 representative offices of foreign banks in Thailand, 
including 14 American banks. Some of the more prominent U.S. banks 
represented in Thailand are American Express Bank, Bank of New York, 
Bankers Trust, Chemical Bank, Continental Bank, First Interstate Bank of 
California, and Philadelphia National Bank.  Many of these foreign 
representative offices have received licenses to operate offshore 
banking units called Bangkok International Banking Facilities (BIBFs). 
 
Prominent Thai commercial banks, roughly in order of rank, include 
Bangkok Bank, Krung Thai Bank, Thai Farmers Bank, Siam Commercial Bank, 
Bank of Ayudhya, Thai Military Bank, First Bangkok City Bank, Bangkok 
Bank of Commerce, Siam City Bank, Bangkok Metropolitan Bank, and Bank of 
Asia.  All of these banks have extensive correspondent relationships 
with U.S. banks.   
 
Domestic Thai banks currently account for about 93 percent of banking 
assets.  At the end of 1993, banks assets totaled $130 billion. Foreign 
banks controlled the remaining seven percent of banking assets, with 
American banks accounting for 1.8 percent. Other financial institutions 
in Thailand include three government banks, the Government Savings Bank, 
the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC), and the 
Government Housing Bank, as well as finance companies, life insurance 
companies and financial cooperatives.  Non-bank financial institutions 
control about $45 billion in financial assets.   
 
Foreign banks perform many of the same activities as Thai domestic 
banks.  However, they do not receive national treatment in Thailand.  
They are prohibited from opening branches and are not permitted to 
operate off-site automated teller machines (ATMs).  Recently, 
regulations were changed to permit foreign banks to participate in the 
local ATM network.  However, they have been unable to negotiate 
agreements to participate in the ATM network with domestic banks.  
Foreign banks are required to maintain minimum capital funds of 125 
million baht (about $5 million) invested in low yielding government 
securities.  The number of expatriate management personnel is strictly 
limited at six, which tends to restrict their scope of operations.   
 
Thai financial officials are taking measures to liberalize the financial 
system and open it to more competition, including from foreign banks.  
However, they do not want to sacrifice the stability of the entire 
system in this quest for increased efficiency through competition. Their 
fear of instability has tended to slow the overall pace of market 
liberalization.   
 
A major liberalization initiative by Thai financial authorities was the 
creation of the Bangkok International Banking Facility (BIBF) in March, 
1993.  This new organizational structure was seen as more appropriate 
for meeting the increasingly complex financing needs of the Thai economy 
and for promoting the country as a regional financial center.  At that 
time, the Ministry of Finance and the Thai Central Bank issued 47 
licenses to commercial banks to operate offshore banking units under the 
BIBF.  By June, 1994 42 banks had begun operations in the BIBF.  These 
banks generated about $12.7 billion in onshore (or "out-in") lending of 
foreign exchange, with foreign banks accounting for 47 per cent of this 
total.  International ("out-out") lending totaled $5.3 billion, with 
foreign banks accruing 80 per cent of the total.   
 
Banks that operate BIBF affiliates are allowed to have two additional 
expatriate managers.  Still, U.S. bankers have cited the lack of 
qualified managers as a problem which prevents them from upgrading 
services.  The adverse effect of this restriction is heightened by the 
difficulty many banks, domestic and foreign, have in hiring and 
retaining qualified Thai personnel due to Bangkok's booming and highly 
competitive labor market.   
 
Thai authorities have announced plans to allow foreign banks 
participating in the BIBF to open provincial offices that can extend 
credit in local currency up to 20 billion baht per branch.  Logistical 
details have not been released.  In addition, during the General 
Agreement on Trade in Services negotiations of the Uruguay Round, 
Thailand agreed to allow from five to seven foreign banks participating 
in the BIBF to form full branches by 1997.  The method by which these 
banks will be chosen is not yet clear. 
 
Foreign Exchange Controls Affecting Trading 
 
In recent years, the Thai government has implemented a series of 
measures to significantly liberalize its foreign exchange markets.  It 
has accepted the directive of the International Monetary Fund's Article 
VIII to reduce the number of restrictions on foreign exchange movements.  
Liberalization has proceeded in the following ways: 
 
--  Commercial banks now have the right to process all foreign exchange 
transactions themselves. 
--  Banks have been given substantial increases in the ceilings on money 
transfers that are exempt from Bank of Thailand preapproval 
requirements. 
--  The amount that Thai tourists and business travelers can spend 
abroad has gone up.  
--  Foreign exchange reporting requirements have been substantially 
simplified. 
--  Banks can now offer foreign exchange accounts to both individuals 
and businesses. 
--  The Thai Central Bank has raised the limits for capital transfers 
abroad and allows free repatriation (net of taxes) of investment funds, 
dividends, profits, and loan repayments. 
--  Exports can be paid for in baht without prior permission from the 
Central Bank. 
--  Companies may transfer foreign exchange between subsidiaries without 
having to change those funds into baht. 
 
Exports: Methods of Payment 
 
The majority of U.S. firms exporting to Thailand conduct business on a 
documentary basis, and use various methods of financing such as letters 
of credit (L/Cs), bank drafts, and wire transfers.  New-to-market 
exporters and infrequent exporters should require confirmed, irrevocable 
L/Cs when initiating relationships with new importers and distributors.  
Once the importer has established a good payments record and the U.S. 
firm is convinced of the importer's trustworthiness, it is advisable to 
provide more lenient terms. 
 
As a standard practice, U.S. exporters to Thailand make their exporting 
deals more attractive through "draft discounting".  This is a simple and 
relatively inexpensive trade financing technique whereby the exporter 
provides financing to the importer without having to utilize his own 
capital or bank credit line.  Often the financing cost is nothing more 
than the cost of discounting the face amount of the transaction by the 
amount of interest that the Thai importer must pay to a local bank. In 
Thailand, an importer or distributor typically obtains financing of 
between 90 and 120 days duration from a local bank at double-digit 
interest rates.  By discounting the face amount of the transaction minus 
interest costs, the U.S. exporter can, however, offer an attractive deal 
that increases his competitiveness.  
 
International factoring is becoming increasingly popular among 
international traders in Thailand as a method of payment.  Already 
widely used in Singapore, international factoring involves accounts 
receivable management whereby a third party assumes responsibility for 
all the administrative work involved in account collection.  Factoring 
enables exporters to reduce their risk in tapping new markets while also 
offering better credit terms than they could afford by themselves.  
Factoring also eliminates administrative costs for credit investigation 
and receivables management and improves cash flow.  Due to the cost 
involved, particularly when numerous products are involved, 
international factoring is recommended primarily for those companies 
engaged in regular bulk sales of fairly standardized merchandise. 
 
It can take three or six months or even longer for Thai 
importers/distributors to get paid from their customers.  Thai 
government institutions typically require much longer payment terms than 
are common in the West.  Thai public hospitals, for example, often take 
a year or more to remit. 
 
Export Financing and Insurance 
 
U.S. bilateral export financing, loan guarantee, and insurance programs 
are available through the U.S. Export Import Bank (EXIMBANK), the 
Foreign Credit Insurance Association (FCIA), and the Overseas Private 
Investment Corporation (OPIC).  All have been increasing their 
commitment to promising export activities in the region. 
 
The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (TDA) also provides funding for 
feasibility studies, definitional missions, and training and orientation 
visits that support specific projects.  TDA makes its funds available on 
the condition that foreign clients contract with U.S. firms to do the 
actual work. 
 
Thailand remains a very attractive market for major projects for U.S. 
firms.  Naturally, export promotion agencies are focusing their 
resources on this dynamic area.  The EXIMBANK, for instance, is actively 
involved in medium- and long-term loans as well as bank guarantees.  
EXIMBANK financing currently covers a wide variety of major project 
sectors including electric power, petrochemicals, telecommunications, 
pulp and paper, transportation, and other infrastructure.  
 
Project Financing Available 
 
There is a full range of public and private sector financing options for 
project investors in Thailand.  Commercial bank loans are available for 
investors who can show promising yields in the short- to medium-term.  
Equity market fundraising has also taken off in recent years as the Thai 
Stock Market has developed. 
 
For certain longer-term projects where yield is lower or less 
predictable, funding is still being provided by multilateral 
institutions such as the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank.  
These types of projects tend to be in the areas of human resources 
development, the environment, highway construction, and rural utilities.  
 
IX.  BUSINESS TRAVEL 
 
Business Customs 
 
Business relationships in Thailand are not as formal as those found in 
Japan, China, Korea, or the Middle East, but neither are they as relaxed 
and impersonal as is common in the West.  Many business relationships 
have their foundations in personal relationships developed within the 
social circles of family, friends, classmates, and office colleagues.  
Although Thailand is a relatively open and friendly society, it is not 
advisable to approach potential business contacts without a prior 
introduction or personal reference.  Thais will be more receptive if you 
arrive with an introduction or letter from a known government official 
or business contact. 
 
The Thai cultural values of patience, respect for status (age, 
authority, etc.), and not losing face, are significant factors in 
business relationships as well.  Losing patience, or using what may be 
perceived as an overly aggressive approach will probably not achieve the 
desired results.  It might be important upon first meeting someone for 
personal information defining status to be exchanged. 
 
Source: Thailand Business Basics, Standard Chartered Bank. 
 
Travel Advisory and Visas 
 
There is currently no travel advisory in effect for Thailand.  Americans 
who register at the U.S. Embassy or a U.S. consulate can obtain updated 
information on travel and security within the country. 
 
Passports and onward/return tickets are required.  Visas are not needed 
for stays of up to one month.  However, without a visa, entry is 
permitted only when arriving at the international airports in Bangkok, 
Phuket, Hat Yai or Chiang Mai.  For longer stays, or overland entry, 
travelers can obtain visas in advance from a Thai embassy or consulate.  
For stays of up to 90 days a tourist visa is required, the fee for which 
is $20.  For more current information travelers may contact the Royal 
Thai Embassy, 2300 Kalorama Rd. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, tel. (202) 
234-5052 or 438-7200. 
 
Holidays 
 
The following days are the commercial holidays which will close most 
business and government offices in Thailand during the calendar year 
1995: 
 
January 2          New Year's Day 
January 31-Feb 1   Chinese New Year   
February 14        Magha Puja Day 
April 6            King Rama I Memorial and Chakri Day 
April 12-14        Songkran Buddhist New Year 
May 1              Labor Day 
May 5              Coronation Day 
May 15             Visakha Puja Day 
July 12            Buddhist Lent Day 
August 14          Her Majesty the Queen's Birthday 
October 23         Chulalongkorn Day 
December 5         His Majesty the King's Birthday 
December 11        Constitution Day 
 
In addition, the American Embassy, and other U.S. offices, may observe 
the following  
holidays: 
 
January 16         Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday 
February 20        President's Day 
May 29             Memorial Day 
July 4             Independence Day 
September 4        Labor Day 
October 9          Columbus Day 
November 10        Veterans Day 
November 23        Thanksgiving Day 
December 25        Christmas Day 
 
Business Infrastructure 
 
Transportation: Thailand's road system compares favorably with that of 
other developing countries in the region.  However, because a 
significant percentage of the population lives in the Bangkok area, city 
traffic is constantly congested.  Expressways, highways, and mass 
transit infrastructure are all in the works to help eliminate congestion 
problems.  The first phase of the skytrain mass transit system is due to 
be completed in late 1995, and two other mass transit systems are 
currently being considered to facilitate public transport throughout 
Bangkok. 
 
The State Railway of Thailand operates 3,800 kms of railway tracks with 
623 destinations and four main routes: Bangkok-North to Chiang Mai, 
Northeast to Nongkhai and Ubon Rajathani, East to Prachinburi and South 
to the Thai-Malaysian border.  A rail route from the Eastern Seaboard 
Development Project to Bangkok is being built to facilitate 
transportation of cargo. 
 
Thailand has coastlines on the Gulf of Thailand and on the Andaman Sea 
with 58 sea channels, 40 operational seaports and 90 fishing trawler 
piers.  Out of 6,000 kilometers of navigable inland waterways, 1,750 
kilometers can be used as transportation routes for bulk cargoes.  
Thailand offers the advantages of low-priced handling costs, cheap labor 
and inexpensive storage costs. 
 
Currently, Thailand has 27 domestic airports, five of which meet 
international requirements for port of entry.  Bangkok International 
Airport is located about one hour outside of Bangkok city, with a 
current maximum passenger capacity of 16 million.  In response to 
predicted growth in air flight passenger and cargo demand, the 
government has already selected an American engineering consortium to 
design the main terminal building for the Second Bangkok International 
Airport (SBIA) at Nong Ngu Hao in Samutprakarn Province. With an initial 
projected capacity of 30,000 passengers at SBIA, Bangkok will soon rival 
Singapore as a regional aviation hub. 
 
Source: Thailand Business Basics, Standard Chartered Bank.  
 
Language: Thai is the national language; English is the next most 
commonly spoken language, especially among the business community. 
 
Communications and Utilities: One of the major weaknesses in Thailand's 
infrastructure has been the inability of telecommunications, water and 
utilities facilities to keep up with growing demand.  Therefore, the 
cost of securing a telephone line is very expensive, ranging from $1,000 
to $2,000, and will remain high until capacity catches up with demand.  
This is expected to occur in the next two years.  Water and utilities 
rates are generally high, but vary with location. 
 
Health: Medical treatment, especially in Bangkok, is good.  While the 
general level of health is good, hepatitis is endemic.  The incidence of 
AIDS is increasing rapidly, especially among prostitutes and intravenous 
drug users. Malaria is a problem in rural border areas, but not in 
Bangkok or other major tourist destinations.  Doctors and hospitals 
often expect immediate cash payment for services, and U.S. medical 
insurance is not always valid outside the United States. For additional 
useful health information, contact the International Travelers' Hotline 
at the Center for Disease Control at (404) 332-4559. 
 
Food: Eating is an important part of the Thai group-oriented culture.  
Thai food can be very spicy; the staples of this cuisine include rice, 
noodles, vegetables, meats, fish, spices and chilies.  Thai food can be 
enjoyed in a wide variety of venues, from streetside kiosks to elegant 
world-class restaurants. 
 
Housing: There are a wide range of hotel accommodations available for 
the business traveler. 
 
APPENDIX A 
 
COUNTRY DATA 
 
Population:               59.1 million (1994) 
Population Growth Rate:   1.3 per cent 
Religions:                Buddhist (95%); Muslim (4%); 
                          Christian, Hindu, Sikh and other (1%) 
Government System:        Constitutional Monarchy 
Language:                 Thai; English is the most widely 
                          spoken second language 
Work Week:                Monday through Friday 
 
APPENDIX B 
 
DOMESTIC ECONOMY 
(millions of U.S. dollars, unless noted) 
 
                                     1994        1995        1996 
                                                 (est.)      (est.) 
GDP 1/ at current prices            143,209     156,190     171,161 
Real GDP Growth Rate (%) 2/               8.5         8.5         8.5 
GDP per capita (U.S. dollars)         2,423       2,595       2,862 
Government Spending as % of GDP          17.9        18.2      n/a 
Inflation (%)                             5.0         5.0      n/a 
Unemployment (%)                          3.3         3.4      n/a 
Foreign Exchange Reserves            30,300        31,700 3/   n/a 
Average Exchange Rate for USD 1.00       25.15       24.85     n/a 
Foreign Debt                         54,100           n/a      n/a 
Debt Service Ratio                       10.6         n/a      n/a 
U.S. Economic/Military Assistance        n/a          n/a      n/a 
 
1/ nominal; 2/ real; 3/ as of April 30, 1995 
 
APPENDIX C 
 
TRADE 
(millions of U.S. dollars, unless noted) 
 
                                  1994        1995        1996 
                                              (est.)      (est.) 
Total Country Exports (fob)       45,061      53,304       n/a 
Total Country Imports (cif)       54,243      62,162       n/a 
U.S. Imports                       9,491      11,170       n/a 
U.S. Exports                       6,396       7,462       n/a 
U.S. Share of Thai Imports (%)        12          12       n/a 
 
 
Imports of Manufactured Goods 
Total (from world                 33,966        n/a        n/a 
From the U.S.                      n/a          n/a        n/a 
U.S. share of manuf. imports (%)   n/a          n/a        n/a 
Trade Balance with the U.S.        n/a          n/a        n/a 
Proj. Growth Rt. from World (%)    n/a          n/a        n/a 
Proj. Growth Rt. from U.S. (%)     n/a          n/a        n/a 
 
 
Imports of Agricultural Goods 
Total (from world)                 7,599        n/a        n/a 
From the U.S.                      n/a          n/a        n/a 
U.S. share of agr. imports (%)     n/a          n/a        n/a 
Agr. goods trade balance with U.S. n/a          n/a        n/a 
 
 
Trade Balance with Three Leading Partners in 1994  
(in U.S. $millions) 
 
Japan       -8680 
USA          3095 
Singapore    2736 
 
 
Principal U.S. Exports in 1994 
(in U.S. $millions) 
 
1. Integrated circuits and microassemblies         694 
2. Unrecorded media for sound, etc.                187 
3. Parts for typewriters and office machines       180 
4. Aircraft                                        155 
5. Aircraft Parts                                  155 
 
Principal U.S. Imports in 1994 
(in U.S. $millions) 
 
1. Automatic Data Processing Machines and Parts  1,407 
2. Fresh, Chilled or Frozen Shrimp and Lobsters    835 
3. Integrated Circuits                             663 
4. Precious Stones and Jewelry                     363 
5. Televisions                                     269 
 
Sources: 
 
Bank of Thailand for Economic and Thai Trade Data; 
U.S. Department of Commerce for Principal U.S. Exports and Imports; 1995 
estimates from Thai Government budget documents; U.S. Embassy and 
private forecasters 
 
APPENDIX D 
 
INVESTMENT 
 
TABLE I 
 
Net Flows of Foreign Direct Investment into Thailand by Country 
 
(Millions of Dollars)             1992        1993        1994 
 
Japan                              333         367         122 
Hong Kong                          573         172         128 
USA                                466         306         164 
Singapore                          265         229        -114 
U.K.                               127         163          44 
Others                             348         303         250 
Total                             2117        1540         594 
 
(Source: Bank of Thailand) 
 
TABLE II 
 
Net Flows of Foreign Direct Investment into Thailand by Sector 
 
(Millions of Dollars)             1992        1993        1994 
 
Industry                           688         754         512 
Financial                          258         116        -460 
Trade                              279         213         340 
Construction                       572         138          70 
Real Estate                         62         182        -118 
Services                            85          19          56 
Mining/Quarrying                   123         114          52 
Others                              50           4         144 
Total                             2117        1540         596 
 
(Source: Bank of Thailand) 
 
TABLE III 
 
Net Flows of Thai Equity Investment Abroad by Country 
 
(Millions of Dollars)             1992        1993        1994 
 
USA                               32.69       67.37       67.51 
Hong Kong                         10.94       22.41       67.61 
Singapore                         19.72       21.81       35.78 
EU                                20.15       11.25       13.10 
Malaysia                           3.15       10.14        1.15 
Laos                               5.43       11.00        5.36 
Cambodia                          10.21        3.47       10.67 
Japan                             43           2.87        3.55 
Others                            34.61      127.14      200.92 
Total                            137.33      277.46      405.65 
 
(Source: Bank of Thailand) 
 
TABLE IV 
 
Net Flows of Thai Equity Investment Abroad by Sector 
 
(Millions of Dollars)             1992        1993        1994 
 
Industry                           49.1       102.7       113.3 
Services                           11.5        55.0        78.4 
Financial Institutions             18.6        12.0        46.8 
Trade                              28.0         3.5        39.4 
Real Estate                         9.2        30.5        54.5 
Other                              41.2        20.9        73.2 
Total                             137.3       277.5       405.6 
 
(Source: Bank of Thailand) 
 
APPENDIX E 
 
U.S. AND THAILAND CONTACTS 
 
Thai Government: 
 
OFFICE OF THE BOARD OF INVESTMENT (BOI) 
Secretary-General:  Mr. Sathaporn Kavitanont 
555 Vipavadee Rangsit Road 
Bangkok 10900, Thailand 
Tel: (66-2) 537-8111, 537-8155 
Fax: (66-2) 537-8177 
Telex: 72435  BINVEST TH 
 
ENGINEERING INSTITUTE OF THAILAND 
President: Prof. Aroon Chaiseree 
Faculty of Engineering 
Chulalonghkorn University 
Henry Dunant Road 
Bangkok 10330, Thailand 
Tel: (66-2) 218-6794/9 
Fax: (66-2) 251-2506 
 
OFFICE OF THE BOARD FOR THE CONTROL OF THE ENGINEERING AND ARCHITECTURAL  
PROFESSIONS 
Director: Mr. Suwat Tantipat 
Office of the Permanent Secretary 
Ministry of Interior 
Visuthikasat Road 
Bangkok 10200, Thailand 
Tel: (66-2) 281-1421, 281-1567 
Fax: (66-2) 282-2161 
 
DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN TRADE, MINISTRY OF COMMERCE: 
 
1. Director: Mrs. Saichai Limthongkul 
Commodity Division 1 
Department of Foreign Trade 
Rajadamnoen Klang Road 
Bangkok  10200 
Tel. 281-6750 
Fax. 281-1772 
 
2. Director: Mrs. Kumnung Phutasiri 
Commodity Trade Division 
Rajadamnoen Klang Road 
Bangkok  10200 
Tel. 282-8198 
Fax. 282-0827 
 
3. Director: Mr. Ittipol Changlum 
Grain Commodity Division 
Department of Foreign Trade 
Sanamchai Road 
Bangkok  10200 
Tel. 221-5825, 226-1564 
Fax. 221-1546 
 
Application for Import Permit: 
 
4. Sub-division of Foreign Trade Services 
Department of Foreign Trade 
Rajadamnoen Klang Road 
Bangkok  10200 
Tel. 282-0824 
Fax. 282-0825, 281-6767 
Government Importing Agent: 
 
5. Public Warehouse Organization (Or-Kor-Sor) 
Ministry of Commerce 
Maharaj Road 
Bangkok  10200 
Tel. 222-8821, 222-4505, 222-8829 
Fax. 226-2653 
 
FOOD & DRUG ADMINISTRATION, MINISTRY OF PUBLIC HEALTH: 
 
Drug Products: 
 
1. Director: Mrs. Ploenpis Sornniyom 
Drug Control Division 
Food and Drug Administration 
Ministry of Public Health 
Nonthaburi  11000 
Tel. 591-8464 
Fax. 591-8463 
 
Import Licenses: 
 
2. Ms. Wimol 
Division of Manufacturing and Import Facilities Control 
Food and Drug Administration 
Ministry of Public Health 
Nonthaburi 11000 
Tel. 591-8460 ext. 121 
 
Product Registration: 
 
3. Dr. Chanin Charoenpong 
Product Registration Section 
Food Control Division 
Food and Drug Administration 
Ministry of Public Health 
Nonthaburi 11000 
Tel.  591-8460 ext. 111 
Fax.  591-8461 ext. 123 
 
Label Registration: 
 
4. Ms. Ussana Pajong 
Food Control Division 
Food and Drug Administration 
Ministry of Public Health 
Nonthaburi 11000 
Tel. 591-8460 ext. 112 
Fax. 591-8461 ext. 123 
 
 
FOOD ANALYSIS: 
 
1. Director: Ms. Supatra Im-Erb 
Division of Food Analysis 
Department of Medical Sciences 
6th Floor, Bldg. # 5 
693 Bamrung Muang Road 
Yot-Se, Bangkok  10100 
Tel. 223-9873 
 
2. Department of Science Services 
Rama IV Road 
Bangkok  10400 
Tel. 246-0065, 246-1387-95 
 
Importer: 
 
3. Ms. Pornpen Bunditanont 
License and Registration Specialist 
Siam Food Services 
2439 Old Paknam Railway Road 
Bangkok  10110 
Tel. 249-5087-8 
Fax. 249-7294 
 
PLANTS AND PARTS: 
 
1. Director:  Mr. Chanuan Rattanawaraha 
Agricultural Regulatory Division 
Department of Agriculture 
Chatuchak, Bangkok  10900 
Tel. 579-8516 
Fax. 579-4129, 579-3576 
 
Seed Control: 
 
2. Ms. Pranee Seubsiri 
Seed Regulatory Sub-division 
Agricultural Regulatory Division 
Department of Agriculture 
Chatuchak, Bangkok  10900 
Tel. 579-0229, 579-8578 
 
Technical Requirements: 
 
3. Mr. Prateuang Srisook 
Technical Plant Quarantine Sub-division 
Agricultural Regulatory Division 
Department of Agriculture 
Chatuchak, Bangkok  10900 
Tel. 579-4129, 579-3576 
Fax. 579-4129, 579-3576 
 
4. Mr. Thawee Sitthichai (Plant Pathology) 
Technical Plant Quarantine Sub-division 
Agricultural Regulatory Division 
Department of Agriculture 
Chatuchak, Bangkok  10900 
Tel. 579-4129, 579-3576 
Fax. 579-4129, 579-3576 
 
5. Mr. Chamlong Chettanachitara 
Fumigation Treatment Sub-division 
Agricultural Regulatory Division 
Department of Agriculture 
Chatuchak, Bangkok  10900 
Tel. 579-2145 
 
Fertilizer Control: 
 
6. Mr. Somboon Charoenrit 
Fertilizer Regulatory Sub-division 
Agricultural Regulatory Division 
Department of Agriculture 
Chatuchak, Bangkok  10900 
 
Pesticide Control: 
 
7. Mr. Prayoon Sricharoen 
Pesticide Regulatory Sub-division 
Agricultural Regulatory Division 
Department of Agriculture 
Chatuchak, Bangkok  10900 
 
Plant Quarantine Operation: 
 
8. Mr. Patthanan Sangkhatawat 
Plant Quarantine Sub-division Station 
Agricultural Regulatory Division 
Department of Agriculture 
Chatuchak, Bangkok  10900 
Tel. 579-3576, 579-1581 
 
Plant Quarantine Control Posts: 
 
9. Plant Quarantine Control Post 
Arrivals Terminal 
Don Muang Airport 
Bangkok  10900 
Tel. 523-6420 
 
10. Plant Quarantine Control Post 
3rd Floor, CARGO Bld. 
Don Muang Airport 
Bangkok  10900 
Tel. 535-1435 
 
LIVESTOCK AND CARCASSES: 
 
1. Director:  Dr. Rapeepong Wongdee 
Disease Control Division 
Department of Livestock Development 
Phayathai Road 
Bangkok  10400 
Tel. 252-5967 
 
2. Dr. Pinai Musikul 
Veterinary Chief Inspector 
Disease Control Division 
Department of Livestock Development 
Phayathai Road 
Bangkok  10400 
Tel. 252-5967 
 
Ports of Entry: 
 
3. Dr. Orapan Pasworakul 
Veterinary Control Post 
Room 308, 3rd Floor 
CARGO Bldg, Don Muang Airport 
Bangkok  10900 
Tel. 535-1425, 535-1546, 535-1210 
 
4. Dr. Khaneungnij Rangsithananont 
Veterinary Control Post 
Klong Toey Port 
Bangkok  10110 
Tel. 249-1221 
 
Importer: 
 
Mr. Somkuan Saengjareuk 
World Agri Business Co., Ltd. 
542/3159 Mooban Sinthorn 
Happyland Road 
Bangapi 
Tel. 375-3621, 375-6159 
 
ANIMAL FEEDS AND FEED SUPPLEMENTS: 
 
1. Director:  Dr. Yuanta Preusaraj 
Feed Quality Control Division 
Department of Livestock Development 
Phyathai Road 
Bangkok  10400 
Tel. 251-8206 
Fax. 251-8206 
 
License and Product Registration: 
 
2. Dr. Khaneungnij Korthammarit 
Feed Quality Control Division 
Department of Livestock Development 
Phyathai Road 
Bangkok  10400 
Tel. 251-1942, 251-8206 
Fax. (66-2) 251-8206 
 
AQUATIC FEEDS: 
 
1. Director: Mr. Prasert Sritasith 
Aquatic Feed Quality Control Office 
National Inland Fisheries Institute 
Department of Fisheries 
Chatuchak, Bangkok  10900 
Tel. 579-4704-5 
 
License and Product Registration: 
 
2. Ms. Wanida Anaman 
Aquatic Feed Quality Control Office 
National Inland Fisheries Institute 
Department of Fisheries 
Chatuchak, Bangkok  10900 
Tel. 579-8145 
 
Importer: 
 
3. Mr. Boontham Aramsiriwat 
Purchasing Manager (Raw Materials) 
Leepatthana-aharnsat Co., Ltd. 
28th Floor, Wall Street Tower 
Bangkok  10500 
Tel. 233-2700, 233-1602, 237-6017-22 
 
U.S. Government: 
 
U.S. COMMERCIAL SERVICE OFFICE 
Commercial Counsellor: Mrs. Carol Kim 
Box 51 
U.S. Embassy Bangkok 
APO AP  96546 
Tel. (66-2) 255-4365 
Fax. (66-2) 255-2915 
 
U.S.D.A. FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE OFFICE 
Agricultural Counselor: Mr. Peter Kurz 
Box 41 
U.S. Embassy Bangkok 
APO, AP 96546 
Tel. (66-2) 252-5040 ext. 2371 
Fax. (66-2) 255-2907 
 
Trade Associations: 
 
AMERICAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE IN THAILAND (AMCHAM) 
Executive Director:  Mr. Thomas A. Seale 
7th floor, Kian Gwan Bldg. 
140 Wireless Road 
Bangkok  10330 
Tel. (66-2) 251-9266/7 
Fax. (66-2) 255-2454 
Telex: 82778 KGCOM TH, 82827 TROGOT TH 
 
BOARD OF TRADE OF THAILAND (BOT) 
Chairman:  Mr. Photipong Lamsam 
150 Rajbopit Road 
Bangkok  10200 
Tel. (66-2) 221-0555,  221-1827 
Fax. (66-2) 225-3995 
 
FEDERATION OF THAI INDUSTRIES (THE) 
Chairman: Dr. Chokchai Aksaraanan 
Executive Director:  Mr. Manus Sanguandikul 
Queen Sirikit National Convention Center 
60 New Rachadapisek Road 
Klong Toey, Bangkok  10110 
Tel. (66-2) 229-4255 
Fax. (66-2) 229-4941/2 
Telex: 72202  INDUSTI TH 
 
THAI CHAMBER OF COMMERCE (THE) 
Chairman:  Mr. Photipong Lamsam 
150 Rajbopit Road 
Bangkok  10200 
Tel. (66-2) 225-0086 
Fax. (66-2) 225-3372 
Telex:  72093  TCCTH 
 
THAI CONTRACTORS ASSOCIATION 
President: Mr. Yim Trivisawavet 
Secretary General:  Mr. Pramote Chalermwannapongs 
110 Wireless Road, Pathumwan 
Bangkok  10330 
Tel. (66-2) 255-3991-2, 255-3386-7 
Fax. (66-2) 255-3990 
 
THE CONSULTANT ENGINEERS ASSOCIATION OF THAILAND (CEAT) 
President: Mr. Rachot Kanjanavanit 
c/o R.K.V. Engineering Consultant Co., Ltd. 
11/1 Sukhumvit 30 Road 
Bangkok 10110 
Tel. (66-2) 258-4838/9 
Fax. (66-2) 259-8177 
 
Commercial Banks: 
 
BANK OF AMERICA BANGKOK BRANCH 
Country Manager: Mr. David Proctor, Senior VP 
2/2 Wireless Road 
Bangkok 10330 
Tel. (66-2) 251-6333 
Fax. (66-2) 253-1905 
 
BANK OF ASIA PUBLIC COMPANY LTD 
President and CEO: Mr. Chulakorn Singhakowin 
191 South Sathorn Road 
Khet Sathorn, Bangkok 10120 
Tel. (66-2) 287-2211/3 
Fax. (66-2) 213-2652, 287-2973/4 
 
CHASE MANHATTAN BANK 
Country Manager: Mr. Julian Cole 
20 North Sathorn Road, Silom 
965 Rama I Road, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500 
Tel. (66-2) 234-5992/5 
Fax. (66-2) 234-8386 
 
CITIBANK NA 
General Manager:  Mr. David Hendrix 
6th floor, 127 South Sathorn Road 
Bangkok  10120 
Tel.  (66-2) 213-2000-7, 213-2441/2 
Fax.  (66-2) 213-2527, 213-2530 
Telex: 82429  CITIBK TH 
 
KRUNG THAI BANK LTD 
Senior VP, International: Mr. Winit Sang-Aroon 
35 Sukhumvit Road 
Bangkok 10110 
Tel. (66-2) 255-2222, 250-0861 
Fax. (66-2) 255-9391/7 
 
SIAM CITY BANK LTD 
President: Dr. Som Jatusipitak 
1101 New Petchburi Road 
GPO Box 488, Bangkok 10400 
Tel. (66-2) 253-0200/9, 208-5000 
Fax. (66-2) 253-7061, 253-1240 
 
SIAM COMMERCIAL BANK LTD 
President: Mr. Olam Chaipravat 
1060 New Petchburi Road 
GPO Box 1644, Bangkok 10400 
Tel. (66-2) 256-1234 
Fax. (66-2) 253-6697, 254-3359 
 
THAI FARMERS BANK LTD 
1st Senior Vice-President: Mr. Seri Seriwathanophas 
400 Phaholyothin Road 
Bangkok 10400 
Tel. (66-2) 273-1199, 270-1122 
Fax. (66-2) 270-1144, 270-1145 
 
Market Research Firms: 
 
AGRISOURCE 
Managing Director:  Mr. Tim Welsh 
36/11-12  #21, Soi Lang Suan 
Ploenchit Road, Bangkok 10330 
Tel. (66-2) 253-5858 
Fax. (66-2) 253-5858 
 
AGRI-SYSTEMS THAILAND 
Director:  Dr. Richard Frankel 
Scandia Building, 12 Sukhumvit Soi 1 
Sukhumvit Klong Toey 
Bangkok 10110 
Tel.  (66-2) 251-7781, 252-9166-9, 254-4234 
Fax.  (66-2) 254-5830 
 
THE BROOKER GROUP LTD 
Managing Director, Mr. George Hooker 
2nd floor, Zone D, Room 201/2 
Queen Sirikit National Convention Center 
60 New Rachadapisek Road 
Klongtoey, Bangkok 10110 
Tel. (66-2) 229-3111 
Fax. (66-2) 229-3127 
 
BUSINESS ADVISORY THAILAND 
President: Mr. Jon Selby 
2nd floor, SMC Building 
285 Sukhumvit Road (near Asoke) 
Bangkok 10110 
Tel. (66-2) 253-6291-2, -6295 
Fax. (66-2) 254-4576 
 
BUSINESS INTERNATIONAL DATACONSULT 
Director for Indochina & Thailand: Mr. Christopher Bruton 
Orient Research Ltd. 
54 Soi Santipharp, Nares Road 
Bangkok 10500 
Tel. (66-2) 236-2780, 233-5606 
Fax. (66-2) 236-8143 
 
COOPERS & LYBRAND 
Director: Ms. Waraporn Saynpatharn 
8th floor, Sathorn Thani Building 
90/14-16 N. Sathorn Road, Bangkok 10500 
Tel. (66-2) 236-5227-9, 236-7814 
Fax. (66-2) 237-1201 
 
DEEMAR CO LTD 
Contact: Mr. Chris Andrews 
29/5 Soi Saladaeng 1, Saladaeng Road 
Bangkok 10500 
Tel. (66-2) 234-4520-1, 234-4721 
Fax. (66-2) 236-7747 
 
JP ROONEY & ASSOCIATES GROUP 
Contacts: James P. Rooney, Bill Dawkins 
4th floor, Panunee Building 
518/3 Ploenchit Road 
PO Box 11-1238 
Bangkok 10330 
Tel. (66-2) 252-0177, 251-9832 
Fax. (66-2) 251-2323, 254-7343 
 
KPMG PEAT MARWICK SUTHEE 
Management Consulting Partner: Mr. Sa-nguan Pongswan 
9th floor, Sathorn Thani Bldg II 
92 North Sathorn Road 
Bangkok 10500 
Tel. (66-2) 236-6161-4, 236-7877-8 
Fax. (66-2) 236-6165 
 
MIDAS AGRONOMICS CO LTD 
President: Mr. Anthony M. Zola 
Mekong International Development Associates 
Technic Building, Room 403 
48 Soi Lertbanya 
Sri Ayudthaya Road, Bangkok 10400 
PO Box 2-245, Bangkok 10200 
Tel. (66-2) 246-1714 
Fax. (66-2) 246-5785 
 
PRICE WATERHOUSE MANAGEMENT CONSULTANTS 
Managing Director: Mr. Arnold Richard 
9th Floor, Sathorn City Tower 
175 South Sathorn Road 
Bangkok 10120 
Tel. (66-2) 679-1561/5 
Fax. (66-2) 679-5180 
 
SGVN-ANDERSEN CONSULTING CO LTD 
Managing Director: Prof. Thavach Phusitphaykai 
23rd Floor 
Grand Amarin Tower 
4550 Petchaburi Road 
Makkasan, Rajathevi 
Bangkok 10310 
Tel. (66-2) 207-0666 
Fax. (66-2) 207-0567 
 
TARA SIAM 
Managing Director: Mr. Chesda Loha-uchit 
21st floor, CP Tower, 313 Silom Road 
Bangkok 10500 
Tel. (66-2) 231-0463-4, 231-0538-40 
Fax. (66-2) 213-0465 
 
APPENDIX F: MARKET RESEARCH 
 
The following Industry Subsector Analyses (ISA), Agricultural Reports 
and Market Research Reports are available according to the schedule 
below: 
 
Commercial ISAs: 
 
Cogeneration Equipment                          12/94 
Cellular Telephones                             4/95 
Tourism Services                                5/95 
Automotive Components                           6/95 
Military Land Vehicles                          6/95 
Finishing Building Materials                    6/95 
Valves                                          6/95 
Computer Networks                               6/95 
Dental Equipment                                6/95 
Pollution Control Devices                       6/95 
Aviation Flight Training Equip & Services       7/95 
Metal Cutting and Machine Tools                 7/95 
Broadcasting Equipment                          8/95 
Unix Software & Services                        8/95 
Railway Operations & Maintenance Equipment      8/95 
Cosmetics                                       8/95 
Plastics Production Machinery                   9/95 
Materials Handling Equipment                    9/95 
Desktop Video Conferencing Tools                9/95 
Process Control Instruments                     9/95 
Laboratory Scientific Instruments               9/95 
Multimedia Software                             9/95 
Electric Kitchenware                            9/95 
Educational Toys                                9/95 
 
Agricultural Reports: 
 
Grain & Feed Report                             3/20/96 
Sugar Report                                    4/10/96 
Tobacco Report                                  5/01/96 
Oilseeds and Products Report                    6/01/96 
Cotton Report                                   6/20/96 
Poultry Report                                  6/20/96 
Market Information Report                       7/15/96 
Forest Products Report                          7/30/96 
Livestock Report                                8/01/96 
Agricultural Situation Report                   9/30/96 
 
Selected Market Research Reports: 
(available on the National Trade Data Bank) 
 
The Eastern Seaboard Development Program        4/11/95 
Government Countertrade Requirements            3/27/95 
Power Consulting Projects                       3/17/95 
Asia - ADB Development Projects                 3/9/95 
Airport Consulting Projects                     12/9/94 
Competition Overview                            11/8/94 
New Industrial Development Zones                10/13/94 
Medical Equipment Production Trends             9/23/94 
Rubber Plantation Development                   8/24/94 
Auto Industry Profile                           8/24/94 
Environmental Engineering Laboratory            6/30/94 
Renewable Energy Overview                       6/24/94 
Alternate Energy Projects                       6/20/94 
Defense Industry Trends                         5/25/94 
Engineering Market Overview                     5/12/94 
Telecommunications Profile                      4/5/94 
Northern Thailand Economic Profile              3/23/94 
 
APPENDIX G: TRADE EVENT SCHEDULE 
 
Food Related Exhibitions 
 
National Beef Cattle Day 
A Livestock & Livestock Genetics Show 
December 10-13, 1995 
Kasetsart U., Nakorn Pathom 
Current Participants: FAS, American Brahman Breeders Association, 
American Simmental Association, Various State Departments of Agriculture 
(Florida, Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma). 
Contact: National Agricultural Extension and Training Ctr 
Tel. (66-34) 351-400 
 
International Hospitality Show 
A Food & Beverage Show   
June 23-26, 1996 
Bangkok, Queen Sirikit National Convention Center 
Contact: Tel. (66-2) 279-4721/2  
 
American Food Circus 
In-store Promotion 
July 15-30, 1996 
13 branches of Central Department Store Supermarkets 
Expected Participants: FAS, U.S. Meat Export Federation, California 
Cling Peach, California Grapes, Washington Apples, Wine Institute, 
Sunkist, USA Poultry & Egg Export Council. 
Contact: Ms. Wallaya Chiratiwat 
Central Department Store, Chitlom Branch 
Tel. (66-2) 255-6955 
 
Non-Food Related Exhibitions and Trade Missions 
 
U.S. Commerce Department Trading Company Matchmaker, Bangkok, October 2-
3, 1995 
Contact: Ms. Molly Costa, Matchmaker Program 
U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, D.C. 
Tel. (202) 482-0693; Fax. (202) 482-0178 
 
USA Pavilion at the Thai Metalex Show, October 26-30, 1995 
Bangkok (Machine tools show; U.S. Commercial Service is organizing the 
U.S. Pavilion) 
Contact: Ms. Wanwemol Charukultharvath, Commercial Specialist, U.S. 
Commercial Service, Bangkok 
Tel. (66-2) 252-5040; Fax. (66-2) 255-2915 
 
ELENEX, October 4-7, 1995 
Bangkok (Electrical and electronics engineering, power generation, 
distribution and supply; at Queen Sirikit National Convention Center) 
Contact: Bangkok Exhibition Services Ltd. 
Tel. (66-2) 271-4801 
Fax. (66-2) 271-4800 
 
THAIBEX '95, November 4-7, 1995 
Bangkok (Building and construction materials, products and services, 
organized by Reed Tradex Co., Ltd; at Queen Sirikit National Convention 
Center) 
Contact: Reed Tradex Co., Ltd. 
1611-1613, 16th floor, B.B. Bldg. 
54 Asoke Road, Sukhumvit 21 
Bangkok 10110 
Tel. (66-2) 260-7103/8 
Fax. (66-2) 260-7109  
 
Computer and Communications '95, November 22-26, 1995 
Bangkok (Includes mainframes, mini- and micro-computers, printers, 
software, accessories and multimedia; at Queen Sirikit National 
Convention Center) 
Contact: Ms. Amphathan Suphannara 
Thai Trade Fairs Co., Ltd. 
Tel. (66-2) 215-6555 
Fax. (66-2) 216-0290 
 
VISIT USA Travel Fair, February 2-4, 1996 
Bangkok, Siam Intercontinental Hotel (Trade fair for Thai and U.S. 
organizations promoting travel and tourism to the U.S.  Event is 
organized by the Visit USA Committee, a joint initiative of the American 
Embassy and the American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand) 
Contact: Mr. Nalin Phupoksakul, Commercial Assistant 
U.S. Commercial Service, Bangkok 
Tel. (66-2) 252-5040; Fax. (66-2) 255-2915 
 
Broadcast Thailand'96, April 4-7, 1996 
Bangkok (Second international broadcasting equipment and technology 
trade exhibition and conference) 
Contact: Reed Tradex Co., Ltd. 
Tel. (66-2) 260-7103/8 
Fax. (66-2) 260-7109 
 
Motor World'96, April 12-15, 1996 
Bangkok (Third international motor show, accessories and road transport  
exhibition) 
Contact: Reed Tradex Co., Ltd. 
Tel. (66-2) 260-7103/8 
Fax. (66-2) 260-7109 
 
Manufacturing Technology Thailand '96, May 23-26, 1996 
Bangkok (Includes mold and die technology, plastics and rubber, welding 
technology and equipment, materials handling transportation and 
distribution, pumps and valves systems, industrial environment 
technology, electrical generation and transmission equipment, and 
instrument control, measurement and testing; at Queen Sirikit National 
Convention Center) 
Contact: Reed Tradex Co., Ltd. 
Tel. (66-2) 260-7103/8 
Fax. (66-2) 260-7109 
 
GFT '96, May 23-26, 1996 
Bangkok (Includes clothing and textile machinery, fabrics; at Queen 
Sirikit  
National Convention Center) 
Contact: Reed Tradex Co., Ltd 
Tel. (66-2) 260-7103/8 
Fax. (66-2) 260-7109 
 
U.S. Dept. of Commerce Computer Software Trade Mission, Bangkok, May, 
1996 
Contact: Heidi Hijikata, Matchmaker Program 
U.S. Department of Commerce 
Tel. (202) 482-0543; Fax. (202) 482-4473 
 
THAI TELECOMM '96, August 4-7, 1996 
Bangkok (Telecommunications and information technology; at Queen Sirikit  
National Convention Center) 
Contact: Ms. Jiraporn Hinghiran 
Exposition (Thailand) Co., Ltd. 
Tel. (66-2) 361-6422/3 
Fax. (66-2) 361-6423, 399-5129 
 
THAIBEX '96, September 4-7, 1996 
Bangkok (Building and construction materials, products and services; at 
Queen Sirikit National Convention Center) 
Contact: Reed Tradex Co., Ltd. 
Tel. (66-2) 260-7103/8 
Fax. (66-2) 260-7109 
 
Thai METALEX '96, November 29-December 2, 1996 
Bangkok (Machine tools; at Queen Sirikit National Convention Center) 
Contact: Reed Tradex Co., Ltd. 
Tel. (66-2) 260-7103/8 
Fax. (66-2) 260-7109 
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