After two decades of careful attention to economic policy, Thailand has exhibited remarkable growth. The country has transformed in recent generations from an agriculture-based economy to one that is heavily based in industry and value-added enterprise. Still, the country’s agriculture sector remains of key interest to policymakers, who are eager to reclaim Thailand’s long-held position as the world’s largest rice exporter, after falling behind India in 2012. Thailand’s historical emphasis on infrastructure development and logistics strategy is at the foundation of its economic success. Its primary agricultural export is rice, followed by sugarcane, seafood, and meat products.
Thailand has a solid legal framework in most areas affecting agricultural trade. The country’s rules and regulations are not always reflected in public and private-sector practice, however, suggesting a need for strengthening both implementing and supporting institutions. Government institutions and public agencies are fairly active and responsive to problems in the agriculture sector and industries. Private associations of exporters and importers and crop-specific organizations promote and defend the interests of their members.
Next to Singapore and Malaysia, the World Bank’s Doing Business in 2013 report ranks Thailand the strongest enabling environment for business among ASEAN Member States.