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Thailand is a beautiful country filled with pristine lakes, elaborate buildings, and gorgeous monuments sprinkled all over the land. Thanks to tourism (medical and wellness tourism included), the Thai economy has grown. With the growth, new opportunities within and outside the country have appeared, but so have several threats.
In this SWOT analysis of Thailand, you’ll discover more about the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of Thailand.
Strengths: One of Asia’s leading exporters and top tourist destination
A top tourist destination.
Thailand’s main strength is tourism. As a visitor, you can take advantage of the many luxury hotels, unique destinations like the pink lakes all around the country, and see the many Buddha statues in Thailand’s historic temples. The beauty doesn’t stop on the land; many visitors go to Thailand to swim and dive in the crystal clear waters and see the wildlife in-person.
A wise economic philosophy.
King Bhumibol developed a philosophy for Thailand’s economy. It even has a name: “sufficient economy.” The principles include focusing on moderation, managing expectations, acknowledging risks, and being flexible when change influences the Thai economy. It’s a philosophy to benefit the Thai people, particularly the poor in rural areas — if rapid change were to come, it shouldn’t affect the natural environment or upset the quality of life of the people.
Farming is the primary way of life.
Over half of Thailand’s people are involved in the agricultural sector. It’s one of the world’s largest food exporters within Asia, thanks to the hard work of the people, plus the new technological developments and research provided by agricultural organizations and Thai farmers. The country supplies rice, sugar, canned pineapple, and rubber.
Within the last few years, Thailand’s farming industry has grown. Not only because of the crops, but also the technology and storage processing plants — using these advancements has caused the value of Thailand’s crops to rise too. On top of using cutting-edge tech, Thai farmers dedicate much of their time to research and adapt the latest methodologies. Because of this, the people have to invest little but gain many rewards.
Proactive in saving the land.
Although half of the economy is devoted to agriculture, Thailand is a rapidly developing country. As such, the need for new buildings and roads is cutting into the natural wildlife. Luckily, the country is taking a proactive interest in keeping the land safe — they use vital mechanisms to care for the water and soil, and also focus on using renewable energy sources to reduce the country’s carbon footprint too.
Weaknesses: Slow reaction to cyber attacks and heavy smog
Cyber-savvy but still at risk.
Despite Thailand being one of the more cyber-savvy countries in Asia — nearly 85% Thai respondents have some sort of cybersecurity education — fewer than that can answer questions about how to protect themselves against attacks. With technology rapidly growing in Thailand, the country and people need to be able to protect themselves, reduce risk, and take appropriate steps if their system is compromised. Considering cyber attacks are on the rise, and becoming more sophisticated by the day, Thailand needs to be ready to counteract the latest malware and virus attacks.
High pollution in concentrated areas.
Despite the initiatives to protect the land, certain areas are still heavily polluted. Bangkok specifically is swept up in the pollution — it hangs like a heavy cloud and never fully goes away. Breathing can be difficult — even wearing a mask to separate yourself from the smog doesn’t always help. Residents get used to the cloud, but it’s a weakness that may deter travelers.
Opportunities: Closing the wealth inequality gap, lowering taxes, and new investments
Economic reform to bridge the wealth gap.
The Thailand government has been laying down the foundation for several economic reforms. One of which is to improve the wealth inequality and adjusting current bills and regulations to be more helpful for business owners.
Lowered taxes for business owners.
Tax evasion continues to be a problem in Thailand — millions of people each year don’t pay taxes. The government needs to address this tax evasion issue, which includes taxing the wealthy population’s assets and inheritance. Personal income tax will be lowered, which will help individuals and businesses. With lower taxes, more people will be willing to become small business owners, which will boost the Thai economy and provide more jobs.
More opportunities for Thailand and other countries.
Thailand has experienced recent economic growth, it has created opportunities for other countries. As one of the United States’ largest exporters, Thailand’s technological advancements have led U.S companies to invest or operate within Thailand’s renewable energy, electrical power, and telecommunications industries. Many companies already have a hand in Thailand’s agricultural sector, as well as the automation, wellness tourism, and robotics industries too.
Threats: Environmental issues and cryptojacking attacks
The state of the environment.
The growing pollution is a primary issue for citizens, as well as the agricultural sector. Although Thai farmers use the latest technology to grow and protect crops, pollution can impact the health of the workers because the air in many areas is mostly smog. The other environmental issues, like water scarcity and soil erosion, are already a focus for the government, but they must find solutions quickly.
Cryptojacking and security concerns.
Cybersecurity threats continue to impact Thailand. Rapid technological development may lead to more digital attacks — businesses and individuals need to be cyber-savvy in order to protect their assets. Crypotacking has been on the rise since 2018 and has shown little sign of slowing down. Citizens and tech experts are worried but the government is still falling behind.
Thailand SWOT Analysis: Bottom line
Thailand is a country of growth and possibilities. The agricultural sector is the primary industry. It’s more than just farming — the farmers have adapted to using the latest technology, research, and development, to grow the best crops. Thai citizens welcome technological change, which will be a massive benefit in the future.
Despite being a hot tourist location for sightseeing and medicine, Thailand’s beautiful country is affected by high amounts of pollution. You’re likely to come across air pollution in concentrated cities, which could affect tourism growth. Thailand needs to be wary of cyberattacks — the people must be proactive in protecting their assets, especially against cryptojacking, which is the leading cyber attack in the country. While it’s good people are accepting of new technology, they must also understand it comes with digital risks.
Image by Ruediger Strohmeyer