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Market Research in Thailand

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Country File: Thailand

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The Economy

GDP: $365 billion
GDP per capita: $5,382
GDP by sector: Industry (39.2%);
Services (52.4%);
Agriculture (8.4%)
GDP Growth: 6.4% (est 2012)
Thailand is a growing, newly industrialised economy. The economy is highly export dependent, with exports accounting for more than two thirds of GDP.

Thailand is the second largest economy in South East Asia, behind Indonesia. However, its GDP per capita is very low, at USD 5,382 in 2012, placing it in a mid ranking position and behind Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.

Thailand's main industries are automobiles and automotive parts (11%), financial services (9%), and electric appliances and components (8%). Tourism accounts for 6% of the economy.

Thailand is now classified as a middle income country and considered to be an example of successful economic development. In terms of social economic development, there has been a steady fall in poverty as the economy has developed. In 2010 7.8% of the population were living below the poverty line, compared with 42.2% in 1988.

Unemployment also remains very low, with just 0.5% reported in the last quarter of 2012 and 0.7% for the whole of 2012, giving it one of the lowest unemployment levels in the world.

Its main trading partners in Asia are China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Japan. Total exports in 2012 were $226 billion and had imports of $217 billion.
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Urban Population: 30.4 million (46%)





Total: 66.72




Male: 32.97




Female: 33.75




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Languages & Ethnic Groups

Official Language: Thai

English and European languages are not widely spoken in Thailand, even in business negotiations. Thai is the official language in Thailand. Isan is also spoken along with some regional dialects.

Most people in Thailand are Buddhists (94.6%) with Muslims accounting for just 4.6% of the population.
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Business & Consumer Culture

According to the World Bank in 2011, Thailand ranks 17th out of 183 friendly countries to do business, which indicates that the regulatory environment is conducive to business operation.

As the economy expanded during the 1980s, with increasing levels of urbanisation and increasing incomes, Thailand has rapidly developed a consumer culture which increasingly resembles western style consumerism. Thai people are very open to new brands and products.
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Market Research in Thailand

Currency: Thai Baht (THB)
Smartphone ownership: 22%
Internet Users: 14.0 m (2010) (21%)
Homeownership: 80.0%
Car ownership: 30%

Online market research is increasingly being conducted in Thailand. Asia Opinions currently can access 5,000 online panellists directly and works with other panel partners. Surveys can be conducted in English, although Thai may also need to be used depending on the audience and subject.