The Southeast Asia Country Series: Kingdom of Thailand

To promote business opportunities for Pakistani exporters in non-traditional markets, the Pakistan Business Council (PBC) has been bringing out a Country Series since 2015. The Country Series concentrates on highlighting markets which are currently not major export destinations for Pakistani exporters. This is the first publication of the Southeast Asia Country Series which features the Kingdom of Thailand.

Thailand is situated in the South-east Asian Indochinese peninsula. It shares borders with Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia and Malaysia. It has a total area of about 513,120 km2. The country is divided into 76 provinces with a population of 69.04 million. About 94.60% of the people follow Buddhism while 4.30% of the population are Muslims. The Thai language is widely spoken followed by the Burmese language.

With a current GDP of USD 455.22 billion, the Thai economy is heavily reliant on the manufacturing and services sectors which contribute 27.07% and 56.31% to the GDP, respectively. The tourism sector generated USD 52.46 billion in the international tourism receipts in 2016.

As the 26th largest economy in the world, Thailand’s exports accounted for 51.84% of the GDP in 2017. With a trade surplus of USD 10.87 billion, its exports were worth USD 236.00 billion against imports of USD 225.13 billion. Top export items were auto parts and electrical appliances while the top-three export destinations were China, the USA and Japan. According to the World Bank’s Doing Business Index, Thailand ranked 26th in the world in 2018.

Thailand's Trade Overview with Pakistan

Thailand has a trade surplus of USD 1.25 billion with Pakistan – with exports of USD 1.40 billion against imports of USD 148.32 million, in 2017. Thailand being a technologically advanced country exports vehicles, auto-parts, chemicals, and machinery and electrical appliances to Pakistan against imports of fish, paper products, cotton and textile articles.

This study also lists the 25 – high potential exports from Pakistan and Thailand at HS-06 level. The high potential export items from Pakistan include: Instruments and appliances for surgical purposes; Paper and paperboard, Cotton T-shirts; Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic purposes; and Wheat or meslin flour. On the other hand, high potential exports from Thailand to Pakistan include: Telephones for cellular networks ‘mobile telephones’ or for other wireless networks; Photosensitive semiconductor devices; Polypropylene in primary forms; Motor cars; and Polythene.

The PBC is a private sector not-for-profit advocacy platform set-up in 2005 by 14 (now 74) of Pakistan’s largest businesses. PBC’s research-based advocacy supports measures which improve Pakistani industry’s regional and global competitiveness. More information about PBC, its members, objectives and activities can be found on its website: