Thailand is the second-largest recipient of foreign direct investment (FDI) in South-east Asia after Indonesia, with exports accounting for 62.3% of GDP in 2012, or 75% including goods and services. Japan has cemented its position as the largest source of FDI: its share of investment reached 44% in the first three quarters of 2013, up from the 30-40% annual range in the decade to 2012. Trade in China has been instrumental in supporting Thai Exports throughout the global financial crisis, growing 21.03% in 2011. As the Chinese economy slowed in 2013, however, exports to the mainland shrunk 1.61% year-on-year in the first three quarters of 2013. Although trade with ASEAN has grown swiftly in recent years, accounting for 16% of total exports in 2012, slowing regional growth and the effect of slumping currencies caused exports to ASEAN to grow at a slower 6.3% year-on-year in the first nine months of 2013.
This chapter contains interviews with Udom Wongviwatchai, Secretary-General, Thailand Board of Investment (BOI); Håkan Buskhe, President & CEO, Saab; and Takanobu Ito, President & CEO, Honda Motor Company.