Thailand is creating a large logistics network with the purpose of connecting all of Asia. One of the most developed tourism markets in Asia, Thailand is famously known as the "Land of Smiles", partly due to the hospitality and kindness of its people. Tourism is a major economic contributor to the Kingdom of Thailand, it is estimated that the tourism industry made up 17.7 percent of Thailand's GDP in 2016. It is expected that the number of foreign visitors will continue to increase to more than 40 million by 2020.
Located in the heart of Asia-Pacific, Thailand has easy access to 3.5 billion people across Asia, compromising a market size of USD 24 trillion, which is nearly 30 percent of the global GDP. Besides tourism, the provinces of Chonburi, Rayong, and Chachoengsao successfully produce petrochemicals, automobiles, and electronics and they are major export centers. Under the new Eastern Economic Corridor, EEC, Thailand is set to experience infrastructure upgrades. The EEC is a bill approved by Thailand's Parliament geared towards attracting more investment in an ambitious USD 45 billion project.
Creating a Logistics Network that Will Connect Asia
One of the main goals of the EEC is to bridge Asia's economic powerhouses. Thailand wishes to build the country's first high-speed rail linking three major airports: Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, and U-Tapao. Part of the project includes revamping the U-Tapao airport. These are some of the steps that should contribute to reducing logistics costs. Furthermore, Thailand will be working on expanding two important seaports, Laem Chabang and Map Ta Phut. This expansion should contribute to increasing export growth. It is expected that the infrastructure developments will be ready to use in the next five to ten years. Business leaders already see the potential for the EEC project.
Official statistics recently released by the Ministry of Finance of Thailand show that the Thai economy performed better during the first quarter of 2018 compared to the same period in 2014. GDP growth in the first quarter of this year reached 4.8 percent, the highest in the past five years. This is the result of a rise in the export of goods and services as well and an increase in the private sector and public sector investment. The EEC should contribute to making Thailand an even stronger economy.
Thailand Visa to Facilitate Travel
Tourism will remain a relevant source of income for Thailand. In fact, to facilitate travel and continue to encourage tourism the country is looking to introduce an electronic visa to travel to Thailand. Citizens of eligible countries will be able to apply for an electronic visa for Thailand through an online registration system. Applicants simply need to meet the online Thailand visa requirements and pay the visa fee with a debit or credit card.