HEFFX to Initiate Coverage of Thai Stocks
HEFFX rate Thailand as one the prime emerging market economies for long term investing. The Stock Exchange of Thailand is a well regulated venue for the foreign investor and home to many quality companies.
The outlook for Thailand is strong. Over the last four decades, Thailand has made remarkable progress in social and economic development, moving from a low-income country to an upper-income country in less than a generation. As such, Thailand has been one of the widely cited development success stories, with sustained strong growth and impressive poverty reduction, particularly in the 1980s. However, average growth has slowed to 3.5 percent over 2005-2015. The government has embarked on an ambitious reform program to raise Thailand’s long-term growth path and achieve high-income status.
Strategically located at the heart of Asia, Thailand aptly serves investors as a dynamic gateway to a fast growing economic market. Our growing economy, world-class infrastructure, competitive human capital and strong government support, are responsible for our key position as one of the most attractive investment destinations for foreign investors.
Thailand has demonstrated remarkable economic progress experiencing foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows’ growth of 21% over the past 6 years, compared to the global percentage of 0.7%. Occupying the 4th rank in Asia’s top prospective host economies, Thailand has gained a solid reputation as a second home for various global multinational enterprises (MNEs).
The establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015 has set up ASEAN as a single market that facilitates free flows of goods; and freer flows of services, investment, capital and skilled labor within the region. With further progress and expansion, we will become the center of a new economic engine of ASEAN.
With well-developed infrastructure, a free-enterprise economy, pro-investment policies, and strong export industries, Thailand achieved steady growth due largely to industrial and agriculture exports – mostly electronics, agricultural commodities, automobiles and parts, and processed foods.
Unemployment, at less than 1% of the labor force, stands as one of the lowest levels in the world, which puts upward pressure on wages in some industries. Thailand also attracts nearly 2.5 million migrant workers from neighboring countries.
The Thai government in 2013 implemented a nation-wide 300 baht ($10) per day minimum wage policy and deployed new tax reforms designed to lower rates on middle-income earners. The Thai economy has weathered internal and external economic shocks in recent years. The global economic recession severely cut Thailand’s exports, with most sectors experiencing double-digit drops. In late 2011 Thailand’s recovery was interrupted by historic flooding in the industrial areas in Bangkok and its five surrounding provinces, crippling the manufacturing sector.
The government approved flood mitigation projects worth $11.7 billion, which were started in 2012, to prevent similar economic damage, and an additional $75 billion for infrastructure over the following seven years. This was expected to lead to an economic upsurge but growth has remained slow, in part due to ongoing political unrest and resulting uncertainties. Spending on infrastructure will require re-approval once a new government is seated.
The Thailand Board of Investment offers investors a competitive package of fiscal and non-tax incentives, as well as a wide range of services before during and after the application process. The combination of incentives and services has enabled Thailand to consistently attract large numbers of investors from around the world.
The combination of affordability and an attractive investment location is hard to beat and for their families, Thailand provides a wide range of international schools and world-class hospitals.
In 2014, Thailand was:
World’s #1 rice exporter (by quantity)
World’s #2 pineapple exporter
World’s #2 sugar exporter
World’s #1 cassava exporter
World’s #1 rubber exporter in
World’s #6 rubber tires exports (by value)
World’s #7 computer device exports (by value)
World’s #9 computer accessories exports (by value)
World’s #7 motorcycle exports (by value)
World’s #5 truck exports (by value)
World’s largest producer of HDDs