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Thailand

Asia

To which language should you translate to localize in Thailand?

Introduction


Language

Official language
Thai 

T-index
0.55%

T-Index ranks countries according to their potential for online sales.

Other languages
Yawi, Teochew and Lao

English
Very low proficiency (EF) – 100 of 112 countries/regions in the world- 22/24 position in Asia.

Conventions

Numbering system
Arabic numbering system and point as decimal separator.

Date format: yyyy-mm-dd / dd-mm-yyyy
Time: 6h system/24h time system
Country code: 0066

Demography

Capital: Bangkok
Currency: Thai baht
Population: 69,80 m
Population density: 137.62 /km2

Economy

GDP: 501,794.96 billion USD (2020)
GDP per capita: 7,189.0USD ‎(2019) ‎
Exports: $243 billion (2020)

Statistics

Internet users: 77.8% penetration, 54.50 million
Unemployment rate: 1% (2020)
Urbanisation: 49.95% (2018)
Literacy: 92.87% (2018)


Language data sources: Worldatlas/Britannica//EF/Wikipedia; Demography data sources: IMF/Worldometers; Conventions data source: Wikipedia; Economy data sources: WTO/OEC/CIA/Esomar/Datareportal; Statistics data sources: Datareportal/WorldBank/UN/UNESCO/CEIC/IMF/Culturalatlas/Commisceoglobal


The new 2021 T-index

The new 2021 T-index

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T-Index ranks countries according to their potential for online sales. It estimates the market share of each country in relation to global e-commerce.

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Facts and data


Economy

Imports
$193 billion (2019). Crude Petroleum ($15B), Integrated Circuits ($9.32B), Gold ($5.07B), Vehicle Parts ($4.95B), and Broadcasting Equipment ($4.6B), importing mostly from China ($51B), Japan ($24.5B), United States ($11.3B), Malaysia ($10.5B), and Singapore ($9.32B).

Financial inclusion factors (over 15 years of  age)
• 81% have an account with a financial institution
• 9.8% have a credit card
• 8.3% have a mobile money account
• 19% make online purchases

Ease of doing business
Easy to conduct business (80.1 out of 100) 5th out of 8 East Asian and Pacific countries 21st worldwide out of 190 countries (2019, World Bank).

Global Innovation Index

Ranked 9th out of 17 Central and South-Eastern Asian and Oceanic countries, 43rd out of 132 worldwide.

The Global Innovation Index captures the innovation
ecosystem performance of 132 economies and tracks the most recent global innovation trends.

Exports
$243 billion (2020). Office Machine Parts ($17.2B), Gold ($14.3B), Integrated Circuits ($9.17B), Cars ($8.28B), and Vehicle Parts ($6.54B), exporting mostly to United States ($35.3B), China ($30.2B), Japan ($23.2B), Hong Kong ($11.8B), and Vietnam ($11.2B).

Main local online stores
Lazada, Kaidee and 11street. Other top retail sites include Zalora, Shopee, Central.co.th, Agoda.com, Traveloka, Tarad.com and Ensogo.

Economic freedom
Moderately free (55.2 out of 100) 11th out of 45 countries in Asia Pacific 43rd worldwide out of 186 countries (2019, Heritage Foundation and Wall Street Journal).


Economy data sources: WTO/OEC/CIA/Esomar/Datareportal


Service Exports (2018)

Source: OEC


Service Imports (2018)

Source: OEC


Most specialised products by RCA Index

Specialisation is measured using Revealed Comparative Advantage, an index that takes the ratio between Thailand observed and expected exports in each product

Source: OEC


Most complex products by PCI Index

Product Complexity Index measures the knowledge intensity of a product by considering the knowledge intensity of its exporters

Source: OEC


Export Opportunities by Relatedness

Relatedness measures the distance between a country's current exports and each product, the barchart show only products that Thailand is not specialized in

Source: OEC


Share of online payment methods in Thailand in 2019

Source: J.P. Morgan 2019 Payment Trends


E-commerce payment methods in Thailand, split by value

Source: J.P. Morgan 2019 Payment Trends


Preferred e-commerce methods in Thailand

Source: J.P. Morgan 2019 Payment Trends


Media

Media main languages
Thai, English

Information channels
The government and military control nearly all the national terrestrial television networks and operate many of Thailand’s radio networks. Multichannel TV, via cable and satellite, is widely available. The radio market, particularly in Bangkok, is fiercely competitive. There are more than 60 stations in and around the capital. The media are free to criticise government policies and cover instances of corruption and human rights abuses, but journalists tend to exercise self-censorship regarding the military, the monarchy, the judiciary and other sensitive issues. Restrictions on media output accompanied the introduction of martial law and an army coup in May 2014. Print media are largely privately-run, with a handful of Thai-language dailies accounting for most newspaper sales.

The press

Bangkok Post – English-language
The Nation – English-language
Daily News – mass-circulation Thai-language daily
Thairath – mass-circulation Thai-language daily

Television

Thai TV3 – operated by the Mass Communications Organization of Thailand (MCOT), a government agency
TV5 – owned by Royal Thai Army
BBTV Channel 7 – owned by Royal Thai Army
ModerNine (Channel 9) – operated by government agency MCOT
Thai Public Broadcasting Service (TPBS) – public TV, created under 2008 legislation

Radio

Radio Thailand – national network and external service operated by National Broadcasting Services of Thailand (NBT), part of government Public Relations Department
MCOT Radio Network – run by government agency MCOT; operates stations in Bangkok and provincial networks
Army Radio – owned by Royal Thai Army

Internet

MCOT online news – English-language pages


Media data source: BBC


Internet Data

Internet users 77.8% penetration, 54.50 million

Share of web traffic by device
44.6% mobile phones, 53.6% computers (laptops and desktops), 1.8% tablet devices

Average speed of mobile Internet connection 25.98 Mbps

Average speed of fixed Internet connection
125.12 Mbps


Internet data sources: Datareportal/Statcounter



Social statistics

Life expectancy
76.68 yrs (2017)

Gender
Thai culture is rather contradictory on gender issues. On the one hand, women are exalted because they represent motherhood, which is deeply revered, on the other hand, Thailand is still very much a male chauvinistic society, with males traditionally holding power. It is noteworthy that Thailand has never had a queen as the head of the kingdom. In theory, there is no cultural or legal restriction on the participation of females at any level of governance or corporate ranks. Indeed, Thai women play very active roles in the country’s economic system and the creation of wealth, especially at the grassroots level. Females dominate in certain professions or careers, e.g. teaching and sales. However, sexual equality, in all respects, is still to be attained.

Ethnicity
Thankfully, Thais have few ethnic problems among their own ranks, though the population consists of several ethnic groups such as the native Thais, the Chinese and the Muslims. 

Healthcare expenditure
3.71% of GDP (2016)

Religion
About 95% of the Thais are Buddhist. Buddhism is a way of life, which permeates almost everything that the Thais think or do. Actions are usually referenced against Buddha’s teachings to determine whether they are right or wrong. Religious practices, rituals and ceremonies have great influence in the workplace. For example, new businesses must be blessed by revered monks before they open for business. Large donations are given to temples each year for corporate or individual intentions. 

Class
Class has become less important in Thai society. It used to be very important during the absolute monarchy. Now it is largely replaced by financial status. The old rich and nouveau riche create their own hierarchy of classes with the poor at the bottom. The upper classes (rich) tend to secure their status through nepotism in the workplace. The poorer classes often see the only way to move up the class ladder as buying their way up. Of course, there are those who get there through qualifications and hard work, but in general, the poor are left where they have always been.


Social statistics sources: WorldBank/UN/UNESCO/CEIC/IMF


Tertiary education in Thailandia

Source: UNESCO

Tertiary education in Thailand by sex

Source: UNESCO


The Data Factbook is a work in progress project. Our community is helping us to fill it up always with new and updated data. Your contribution is precious. If you want to help us, please write your advices at imminent@translated.com


Languages research


Languages spoken in Thailand


The geographical distribution of languages that you will find in the maps published in this section is a work in progress. Our community is helping us to fill it up with always new and updated data. Your contribution is precious. If you want to help us, please write to imminent.factbook@translated.com


Photo credit: Surasit Laopa, Unsplash