Thailand as the Hub of Asia
It is no coincidence that Asia Brazil Connection in located in Bangkok, Thailand. According to the World Bank, “Thailand is one of the great development success stories. Due to smart economic policies, it has become an upper middle-income economy and is making progress towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals.” And Thailand is the perfect gateway to the ASEAN and RCEP economic regions, besides being a vibrant and modern nation of 70 million people and well positioned in the center of Southeast Asia. Thailand holds the following key advantages for foreign trade and regional investment:
- Significant cost advantages when compared to Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Macau, supporting cost strategies that efficiently place foreign products in ASEAN;
- Second economy of ASEAN, with a very stable currency and banking system;
- The presence of large, cost-efficient, and adaptable workforce. According to Thailand’s Board of Investment, 94% of all Thai males and 90% of all females in Thailand are literate;
- Thailand ranks second in ASEAN Logistic Performance Index;
- Sophisticated trade infrastructure, including a deep-water port in Laem Chabang, international airports, roads, and railroads linking Thailand to ASEAN and RCEP nations;
- Time-tested legal system that provides legal security to foreign investors;
- The presence of a Brazil-Thai Chamber of Commerce, the only one of its kind in ASEAN.
THAILAND’S EASTERN ECONOMIC CORRIDOR (EEC)
Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) is a large free trade zone that includes three large provinces in Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard. Besides significant fiscal incentives, EEC offers to foreign investors a comprehensive infrastructure of high-speed rails, deep-water ports, and international airports, including links to large ASEAN and RCEP economies such as Indonesia, China, and Japan. Due to its links to Chinese trade routes, EEC is also perceived to be an important partner of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). EEC is ready for investment and will continue to expand until 2026.