About Thailand

Key Statistics 2018
GDP $411.75 billion1
GDP per capita (PPP) $5,7001
GDP Growth 3.9%1
Total Investment $45.7 billion 2
US Exports to Thailand $10.9 billion3
US Imports from Thailand $31.2 billion3
Population 68.86 million1

1. World Bank Economic Report (October 2018) - Thailand

2. Trading Economics (October 2018) - Thailand
3. U.S. Census Bureau - Trade in Goods with Thailand

The centerpiece of the Council's Thailand program is our annual business mission. With the assistance and guidance of Senior Council staff, Business Leaders from our members exchange views and solve problems in meetings with the highest levels of the Thai government. The mission is supplemented by additional visits to Thailand for major events and ASEAN meetings.

Thailand in the United States

When senior Thai officials visit the United States, a meeting hosted by the US-ASEAN Business Council is always on the agenda. The Council regularly meets with the Royal Thai Embassy and support s the official visits of Cabinet Members and key Thai decision makers.

A Permanent Presence in Bangkok

Praab Pianskool opened the Council's office in Bangkok in 2005. Praab helps our member companies based in the region and the United States navigate Thailand's business environment from the ground. With long experience in the financial and media business in Thailand, Praab is able to support Council members in Thailand while serving as a troubleshooter and advisor to our members on key strategic issues.

Success Stories in Thailand

The Council's longstanding relations with the Royal Thai Government and the business community in Thailand have enabled the Council to work to create unique solutions to problems that serve the interests of both Thailand and the American business community.

About Thailand

The only country in Southeast Asia to escape colonization, Thailand (formerly known as Siam) is a Constitutional Monarchy headed since December 2016 by King Maha Vajiralongkorn, who ascended to the throne following the passing of his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej. A founding member of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), Thailand has been a staunch supporter and active participant in the organization’s efforts towards peace, economic growth, social progress, and cultural development in the region.

In recent years, Thailand has undergone a series of rapid changes in government, most recently the 2014 declaration of martial law by the current Prime Minister, Prayut Chan-o-cha, aimed at restoring peace and stability to a nation gridlocked by violent protests against former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra of the Pheu Thai Party. Since the establishment of a military government, Thailand has operated under an interim constitution, following the suspension of the 2007 constitution. A draft for a new constitution was unveiled in March 2016, and was approved by public referendum in August 2016, but has not yet been implemented, pending further review and amendment. 

Since 1984, US-Thai bilateral trade has expanded from less than $2.5 billion in goods to over $37 billion in 2015, with U.S. exports reaching approximately $13.8 billion in value. Formerly focused on agribusiness, the Thai economy is now one of the most diversified in Southeast Asia, with electronics and automobiles joining rice as strong export products. The government has also announced plans to develop infrastructure and expertise for an expansion into the energy and pharmaceutical industries, as part of their push for a new ‘bioeconomy.’

The relationship between the United States and Thailand is the oldest in Southeast Asia, with the Council helping to celebrate the 180th anniversary of US-Thai relations in 2013. Despite periods of political turmoil within Thailand, the relationship between the country and U.S. business has always remained strong. The current administration enjoys healthy bilateral trade relations with the United States, as well as significant foreign direct investment from US companies in the petrochemical, finance, consumer product, and automobile sectors. Thailand has recently launched the “Thailand 4.0” initiative, an ambitious plan aimed at reshaping the Thai economy to kickstart a move into higher-income status, with a particular focus on building an innovation environment in Thailand. 

Council Members maintain a number of active CSR projects in Thailand, ranging from launching health and safety initiatives, to supporting the development of education and housing for the less fortunate.