This chapter includes the following articles.
With a robust export economy dominated by the manufacturing industry, Thailand has long benefitted from foreign investment in key sectors, such as automotive and electronics, while its agriculture and agro-food base has pushed it to the forefront in global rubber, rice and seafood production. Trade and investment have been under pressure in recent years, and a number of factors have contributed to foreign direct investment gradually falling in recent years. Combined with an ageing population and a shrinking low-cost labour force, Thailand is struggling to compete regionally. Government plans to attract new investment in special economic zones located on the border have not come to fruition, and the country is being outpaced by its ASEAN neighbours in terms of investment growth. This chapter contains interviews with Sontirat Sontijirawong, Minister of Commerce; Duangjai Asawachintachit, Secretary General, Board of Investment; and Hiroyuki Ishige, Chairman and CEO, Japan External Trade Organisation; and a viewpoint from Steven Ciobo, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment of Australia.