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Last updated : Nov 2009
Bangkok Business Profile
Bangkok Business Overview - TravelPuppy.com
Bangkok Economy

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.

Tourism 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.

Business Etiquette

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.

Office hours 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.
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