Bangkok and Thailand were at the centre of breakdown of the Asian
economy in 1997. It had been developing steadily during the 1980s
and 1990s and it was seen to be one of the Asian Tiger economies.
The economy collapsed in 1997, and the level of unemployment
rose seriously. The government tried to control the economy
and steadied the currency, and there was progression during 2000.
It appeared like the economic crisis would become better, even though
it was weaker in 2001 because of the events
of 11 September and when exports went
down. However, it has rapidly improved.
has been a good sign in Thailand. Regarding the economic crisis
and the floatation of the Baht in July 1997, the government started
the ‘Amazing Thailand’ campaign, and
this had hugely increased the number of visitors to Thailand, many
of whom were keen to take advantage of the favourable exchange rate.
The number of tourists have continually increased from year to year
and it is projected that by the end of 2005 some 13 million tourists
will visit Thailand.
As Thailand is at the centre of South-East
Asia and the gateway to other areas in the region, a number
of multinational enterprises have a presence in
Bangkok. All industries have manufacturing companies or offices
in Bangkok, which include Sony, Toyota,
Unilever, Proctor and
Gamble, Philips, Compaq
and even Tesco, who bought a 75% share in a retail
group with 12 stores. Most foreign investors have favour a long-term
commitment to Bangkok and Thailand as a whole. There is still a
big difference in the standard of living between people in the city
and those in the countryside.
Most businessmen in the major or international organisations can
speak English but it's not usual in smaller offices. It is necessary
to make advance appointments for business gatherings and to exchange
name cards. To be in time is also very important (even though visitors
is quite often likely to be kept waiting after arrival) –
so Bangkok traffic must be taken into consideration when going to
appointments. Thai hosts will normally give small gifts to visitors,
therefore it is a good idea to give them a typical national gift.
Visitors should never get angry or raise their voice if things are
not going as plans, because this will mean the loss of face on both
sides. There will be more progress by being calm.
Gatherings frequently happen over lunch and they are usually held
in Thai restaurants. Thai businesspeople are a bit formal in their
dress but, following the extreme heat, it is quite normal and welcome
to do without a suit jacket.
are usually from Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 5.00 pm.
There is a big ex-pat community in Bangkok and there is a big after-work
cocktail drinking scene.