For many decades, Thailand has had a notoriously bad reputation, particularly among females from other nations. Few have not heard stories that have been passed along the grapevine about the country’s vibrant sex scene. Perverts come religiously from all around the world, young and old, multiple times a year, for that and only that. Those that were originally not ‘down with that shit’ are easily converted within a span of 24 hours, and even those that really aren’t down with that shit end up bringing perverted stories back home to tell anyway. Needless to say, it is human nature to travel long distances to partake in unfettered amounts of hedonism, but that is not all what the Land of Smiles is about.
The Business Environment
In all my years of travel, I have never seen a place with as much foreign influence as Thailand. Major supermarkets are British. The leading apparel shops are Spanish, Korean, or Japanese. Restaurant chains are from Japan, the US, Australia, or Europe. There is no pattern to who succeeds and who doesn’t, but all are welcome to try.
Still being an emerging country, Thailand has had the advantage of seeing what’s working overseas and bringing it back home. The result, although not perfect, is an efficient environment filled with many of the world’s best companies and proven business models.
What’s amazing about Thailand, and all of South East Asia for that matter, is the ratio of entrepreneurial minded people vs those not. Pick any street and take a walk down it. You will see a demographic ranging from 10 year old little girls to 100 year old men, trying to sell you all sorts of stuff from lottery tickets to samurai swords- all entrepreneurs. It is exciting to imagine what will happen in a few years when their education system (which really sucks) catches up to the rest of the world. This region will be printing out millionaires at a pace unseen elsewhere.
Setting up a business in Thailand is also not very difficult. By law, foreigners cannot own more than 50% of the equity of a company (the same applies to land), so a Thai partner is necessary, but there are ways around that.
Thailand is an ideal base for an international entrepreneur interested in South East Asia due to low costs of living and easy entrance into the country. Long term accommodation is also easy to find as one does not need a visa or even income to sign a contract. Despite low living costs, resources are abundant as Bangkok is on par in terms of technology with other major Asian cities. Growth is everywhere, and the rest of Asia is also just a short flight away.