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Government Organizations and Agencies

 

Board of Investment (BOI)

The BOI is government's investment promotion and policy agency. It grants a wide range of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives and guarantees to investment projects that meet national economic development goals. The BOI offers comprehensive business-related services to investors and potential investors ranging from assistance in obtaining required licences and permits, to the identification of promising investment projects and joint venture partners. It also provides support to both foreign and Thai businesses that are either planning to invest, or have already committed to invest in Thailand.

Contact address:
555 Vipavadee Rangsit Rd.
Bangkhen, Bangkok 10900
Tel: (662) 537-8111, 537-8155
Fax: (662) 537-8177
 

Ministry of Industry (MOI)

The MOI performs several duties, including:
• Issuing industrial policies, plans, and industrial development projects
• Monitoring and inspecting industrial factories nation-wide
• Administering and managing the supply of key mineral resources
• Promoting productivity upgrading for existing industries
• Issuing industrial products standards and certifies product quality
• Playing a role in the development of industrial estates throughout the country

Contact address:
Rama VI Rd.
Ratchathewi, Bangkok 10400
Tel: (662) 202-3000
Fax: (662) 202-3048
 

Ministry of Finance (MOF)

The Ministry of Finance is responsible for managing public finances, setting fiscal policy, drafting the government's annual budget, monitoring financial institutions and capital markets (along with the Bank of Thailand), collecting taxes, managing government revenues, monitoring state enterprises, and other activities.

Contact address:
Rama VI Rd.
Bangkok 10400
Tel: (662) 273-9021
Fax: (662) 273-9480
 

Department of Customs (Ministry of Finance)


Contact address:
Sunthornkosa Rd.
Khlong Toey, Bangkok 10110
Tel: (662) 249-0431-40, 671-7294-8
Fax: (662) 249-2874
 

Bank of Thailand (BOT)

The Bank of Thailand is the country's central bank. It formulates monetary policy, supervises financial institutions, and manages the country's international reserves. The BOT also acts as the banker to the Government and financial institutions, and recommends economic policy to the government.

Contact address:
273 Sam Sen Rd., Bangkok 10200
Tel: (662) 283-5353
Fax: (662) 280-0449, 280-0626, 280-0137
 

The Securities and Exchange Commission

In March 1992, the Securities and Exchange Act established a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Thailand. The SEC plays a supervisory and policy formulation role in the Thai capital market. However, it does not directly regulate the SET's operations, other than to give approval to the day-to-day operations.

Contact address:
14th -16th Diethelm Towers B
93/1 Wireless Rd.
Patumwan, Bangkok 10330
Tel: (662) 252-3223
Fax: (662) 256-7711
 

Ministry of Commerce

The Ministry of Commerce performs several duties for the country in general and the private sector in particular. Among its functions and responsibilities are:
• Inspects, monitors, and provides services on trading registration, accounting, measuring, and fuel trading
• Issues regulations and promotion plans for major export and import products and identifies standards for exported products
• Promotes trading and marketing domestically and internationally
• Promotes the protection of intellectual property rights
• Collects, processes, and distributes commercial and statistical information as the central information base on commercial activity for public and private agencies
• Coordinates export promotion activities, including trade and marketing
• Promotes Thai products overseas, and collects and provides trading information services for Thai producers and exporters and foreign importers

Contact address:
Sanamchai Rd.
Bangkok 10200
Tel: (662) 225-8411-27
Fax: (662) 226-3319, 226-3318
 

Department of Commercial Registration (Ministry of Commerce)

The Department of Commercial Registration performs several functions for local and foreign firms, including:
• Providing registration services, and inspection and application services for corporate names
• Processing applications for the establishment of alien businesses, agencies of foreign corporations and offices of overseas companies
• Providing business information: record searches, certificates of registration, statistical data on commercial registrations, corporate status, and financial statements

Contact address:
Sanamchai Rd.
Bangkok 10200
Tel: (662) 222-9851, 226-1126
Fax: (662) 255-8493
 

Department of Export Promotion (DEP) (Ministry of Commerce)

DEP conducts research and planning for export development and promotion, provides trade information, promotes products made in Thailand, and assists foreign buyers who want to trade with Thai manufacturers and exporters.

Contact address:
22/77 Ratchadapisek Rd., Lad Yao
Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900
Tel: (662) 511-5066-77, 512-0093
Fax: (662) 512-1079, 513-1917
 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA)

The MFA is responsible for foreign policy on issues of international diplomacy and economic relations. Its role for business entails providing information on trade and investment opportunities abroad to local companies and providing information on Thailand to foreign investors and traders. Additionally, the MFA assists Thai firms investing and trading abroad by providing information on the enforcement of international agreements and new trade regulations.

Contact address:
443 Sri Ayudhaya Road
Bangkok 10400
Tel: (662) 643-5000
 

Chambers of Commerce and Other Business Associations

Thailand has numerous business associations, but the three main umbrella associations are the Federation of Thai Industries, the Thai Chamber of Commerce, and the Thai Board of Trade. Additionally, several foreign chambers of commerce operate in Thailand, as well as dozens of industry specific business associations. Contact information is provided below for many of the major private sector business associations.
Major umbrella associations:

The Federation of Thai Industries
Queen Sirikit NationalConvention Centre, Zone C, 4th Floor,
New Ratchadapisek Road
Klongtoey, Bangkok 10110
Tel: (662) 229-4255
Fax: (662) 229-4941-2
Thai Chamber of Commerce
150 Rajbopit Road, 
Bangkok 10200 
Tel: (662) 622-1860-76
Fax: (662) 225-3372
Thai Board of Trade
Rajbopit Road 
Bangkok 10200
Tel: (662) 222-9031, 223-2069

Foreign chambers of commerce established in Thailand:

American Chamber of Commerce
7th Floor Kian Gwan Building 1
140 Wireless Road, 
Bangkok 10330
Tel: (66-2) 251-9266-7, 251-1605
Fax: (66-2) 651-4474, 651-4472
Email: amcham@samart.co.th

 

Australian-Thai Chamber ofCommerce
20th Floor Unit 202 Thai CC Tower 889 South Sathorn Road, Yannawa
Bangkok 10120
Tel: (66-2) 210-0217-8
Fax: (66-2) 210-0218
Web: www.atcc.or.th
Belgian-Luxembourg-Thai
Chamber of Commerce
83-85 Soi  Anuman Rajdhon
Off Decho Road, 
Bangkok 10500
Tel: (66-2) 266-7871, 266
8217-8
Fax: (66-2) 266 -8097
British Chamber of Commerce
B.B. Building, 18th Floor Unit
1809-10
54 Sukhumvit 21 (Asoke Rd.)
Bangkok 10110
Tel: (66-2) 260-7288-9
Fax: (66-2)  260-7287
Web: www.bccthai.com
 
Danish Chamber of Commerce
19/121 Sukhumvit Suite
19 Soi 13 Sukhumvit Road
Bangkok 10110
Tel: (66-2) 651-5805
Fax: (66-2) 651-2652
 
Franco-Thai Chamber of
Commerce
10th Floor Richmond Tower
75/20 Soi Sukhumvit 26 Klongteoy
Bangkok 10110
Tel: (66-2)  261-8276-7, 260
8254
Fax: (66-2)  261-8278

 

German-Thai Chamber of
Commerce
4th Floor Krongboonma Building
699 Silom Road
Bangkok 10110
Tel: (66-2) 236-2396, 235-3510-3
Fax: (66-2)  236-4711
India-Thai Chamber of Commerce
13 Attakarnprasit Lane
South Sathorn Road, 
Bangkok 10120
Tel: (66-2) 287-3001-2
Fax: (66-2) 679-7720
 
Japanese Chamber of
Commerce
15th Floor Amarin Tower
500 Ploenchit Road 
Bangkok 10330
Tel: (66-2) 256-9170-3
Fax: (66-2)  256-9621
Netherlands-Thai Chamber ofCommerce
3rd Floor Shinawatra Building
94 Sukhumvit Road
Bangkok 10110
Tel: (66-2) 258-4077
Fax: (66-2)  258-8017
Singapore-Thai Chamber ofCommerce
18th Floor Room 1812 B, B.
Building
54 Sukhumvit 21
Bangkok 10110
Tel: (66-2) 260-8020-41 
Ext. 1113
Fax: (66-2) 260-8018
Thai-Canadian Chamber of
Commerce
19th Floor CP Tower
313 Silom Road
Bangkok 10500
Tel: (66-2) 231-0891-2
Fax: (66-2) 231-0893
Web: www.thai-canadian-chamber.org
Thai-Chinese Chamber of
Commerce
9th Floor Thai CC Tower
889 South Sathorn Road
Bangkok 10120
Tel: (66-2) 675-8574-84
Fax: (66-2)  212-3916
Thai-Finnish Chamber of
Commerce
4th Floor Apt. 19/27, Ruen Rudee Condominium Sukhumvit Soi 1
Bangkok 10110
Tel: (66-2) 255-3251
Fax: (66-2) 255-3251
Thai-Israel Chamber of
Commerce
14th Floor Manorom Building
3354/46-47 Rama IV Road,
Bangkok 10110
Tel: (66-2) 672-7021
Fax: (66-2)  249-8632, 672
7021
Email: thaisrael@bkka- net.net.th
Thai-Italian Chamber of
Commerce
12th Floor Room 1208 Vanich
Building
1126/1 New Petchaburi Road,
Bangkok 10400
Tel: (66-2) 253-9909
Fax: (66-2)  253-9896
Email: angelo@loxinfo.co.th 
Web: www.thaitch.org
Thai-Korean Chamber of
Commerce
7th Floor Kongboonma Building
699 Silom Road, 
Bangkok 10500
Tel: (66-2)  635-3329
Fax: (66-2) 237-1956
Thai-Swedish Chamber of
Commerce
19/121 Sukhumvit Suite
19 Soi 13 Sukhumvit Road
Bangkok 10110
Tel: (66-2) 651-2727
Fax: (66-2)  651-2652

Other business associations:

Association of Finance Companies
16th Fl., 29 Vanisa Building, Soi
Chidlom,  Ploenchit Rd. Patumwan, 
Bangkok 10330
Tel: (66-2) 655-0240-5
Fax: (66-2) 655-0246-7
Email: asco@asco.or.th 
Web: www.asco.or.th
Association of Securities Companies
5th Fl., 195/6 Lake Ratchada Office Complex 2New Ratchadapisek Rd.
Klongtoey, 
Bangkok 10110
Tel: (66-2)  264-0909
Fax: (66-2) 661-8505-6
Association of Thai Steel
Industry
11th Fl., 990 AbdulrahimI
Building
Rama IV Rd., Bangrak, Bangkok10500
Tel: (66-2) 636-1645-9
Fax: (66-2) 636-1650
Chemical Business Association 
(N.I.M. Co., Ltd.)
8th Fl., 205 United Flourmill Building
Samphanthawong, 
Bangkok 10100
Tel: (66-2) 222-7352
Fax: (66-2) 224-5616
Consulting Engineer Association of Thailand
7th Fl., SPC Building, Klongton
Bangkok 10110
Tel: (66-2)  381-7223
Fax: (66-2) 381-0857
Thai Agricultural MerchantsAssociation
1113-5 Songwad Road
Bangkok  10100
Tel: (66-2) 235-9326
Thai Auto-Parts ManufacturesAssociation
32-33 Moo 17, Bangna-Trad Km.11.65
Bangplee Yai, Bangplee
Samut Prakarn 10540
Tel: (66-2) 316-8800-7 ext. 206
Fax: (66-2) 316-5629 
 
Thai Bankers Association
4th Fl., 195/5 
Lake Ratchada Office Complex 2
New Ratchadapisek Road 
Klongtoey, 
Bangkok 10110
Tel: (66-2)  264-0083-7
Fax: (66-2) 264-0888
Thai Fertilizer Producers
Trade Association
99/196-197 Prachanives 1Rd.
Ladyao, Chatuchak
Bangkok 10900
Tel: (66-2) 589-7111
Fax: (66-2) 589-5239
Thai Frozen Foods Association
13th Fl., ITF Silom Palace Bldg.
160/194-7  Silom Road Bangrak,
Bangkok  10500
Tel: (66-2) 235-5622-4
Fax: (66-2)  235-5625 
Email: thaiffa@ksc.th.com 
Web: www.thai-frozen.or.th
Thai Garment Manufacturers
Association
31th Fl., Panjathani Tower
127/36 Nonsi Road, Chongnonsi
Yannawa,
Bangkok  10120
Tel: (66-2)  681-2222
Fax: (66-2) 681-2223
Thai Hotel Association
203-209/3 Bavornnives
Pranakorn, 
Bangkok 10200
Tel: (66-2)  281-9496, 629
1931-2
Fax: (66-2)  281-4188
Email: reserve@thaihotel.org 
Web: www.thaihotel.org
Thai Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association
5/97 Soi Udomsup Boromratchachonnanee Road Bangkok Noi, Bangkok  10700 
Tel: (66-2)  433-6547, 424-8588 
Fax: (66-2) 433-6547
The Thai Textile Manufacturing Association
454-460  Sukhumvit 22 Road Klongtoey,Prakanong 
Bangkok  10110 
Tel: (66-2)  258-2023, 258-2044 
Fax: (66-2) 260-1525
The Thai Tool and Die Industry  Association
(TDIA)
Floor, The Bureau of Supporting  Industries Development Soi Kluaynamthai, Rama IV Road Bangkok 10110 
Tel: (66-2) 381-0551-1

Consulting, Accounting, and Law Firms
 
There are many local and international consulting, accounting, and law firms in Thailand, particularly in Bangkok. The following list of names and addresses contains some of the more well-known firms, but this does not imply endorsement or certify their credibility. All the firms in the list are Bangkok offices.

Consulting firms in Thailand

 
Accenture
989 Rama I 
Tel: (662) 658-0658
Booz-Allen & Hamilton
26th Floor Capital Tower
All Seasons Place
87/1 Wireless
Tel: (662) 654-3001
Boston Consulting Group (Thailand) Ltd.
5A Floor Le Promenande
2/4 Wireless
Tel: (662) 655-0404
Fax: (662) 655-0381
Boyden Associates (Thailand) Ltd.
Sinn Sathorn Tower
Krungthonburi Road
Tel: (662) 440-0144-7
The Brooker Group Public Company Limited 
16th Floor, Harindhorn Building
54 North Sathorn Road
Silom, Bangrak
Tel: (662) 267-9222, 632-1711
Fax: (662) 632-2606, 632-2607
E-mail: info@brookergroup.com 
Web site: www.brookergroup.com
Ernst &Young Ltd. 
33rd Floor Lake Rachada Building
New Rachadapisek Road
Tel: (662) 264-0777
Fax: (662) 264-0789-90
McKinsey & Company Inc.Thailand 
M Thai Tower
All Season Place Bldg.
Wireless Road
Tel: (662) 654-0166
Fax: (662) 654-0177
Price Waterhouse Management Consultant Ltd.
175 South Sathorn
Tel: (662) 679-5161-75
Fax: (662) 679-5180
Thailand Management Association
276 Ramkhamhaeng Rd. 
Soi 39, Bangkapi
Tel: (662) 319-7675-8
Fax: (662) 319-5665-6
 

Law firms in Thailand

 
Allen & Overy 
22nd Floor, Sindhorn Building III, 130 Wireless Road
Tel: (662) 263-7600
Fax: 662) 263-7699
E-mail: information@allenovery.com 
Web site: www.allenovery.com
 
Baker & McKenzie 
25th Floor, 990 Rama IV Rd.
Tel: (662) 636-2000
Fax: (662) 636-2111
Web site: www.bakernet.com
Chandler & Thong-Ek Law Office Limited 
Bubhajit Building, 7th Floor
20 North Sathorn Rd.
Tel: (662) 266-6485/6510
Fax: (662) 266-6483/6484
E-mail: chandler@ctlo.com 
Web site:www.ctlo.com
DEACONS 
16/F Q House Sathorn, 11 South Sathorn Rd.
Tel: (662) 679-1844
Fax: (662) 679-1864
E-mail: deacons@loxinfo.co.th 
Web site: www.deaconslaw.com
Domnern Somgiat & Boonma 
719 Si Phya Road
Tel: (662) 639-1955
Fax: (662) 639-1956-58
E-mail:  mail@dsb.co.th 
Web site: www.dsb.co.th
Freshfields Bruckkhaus Deringer 
Sathorn City Tower, 10th Floor 
175 South Sathorn Road
Tel: (662) 344-9200
Fax: (662) 344-9300
E-mail: james.lawden@freshfields.com 
Web site: www.freshfields.com
Herbert Smith 
1401 Abdul Rahim Place, 990 Rama IV Road
Tel: (662) 636-0656
Fax: (662) 636-0657
E-mail:  enguiries-asia@berbertsmith.com 
Web site: www.herbertsmith.com
Hunton & Williams (Thailand) Limited 
34th Floor, Abdulrahim Place, 990 Rama IV Road,
Tel: (662) 636-2366
Fax: (662) 636-2377
E-mail: bbradley.th@hunton.com 
Web site: www.hunton.com
Johnson, Strokes & Master 
12th Floor, TISCO Tower, 48/20 North Sathorn Road
Tel: (662) 638-0880
Fax: (662) 638-0870
E-mail:  jsmbkk@jsm.com.hk 
Web site: www.jsm.com.hk
Linklaters (Thailand) Ltd. 
20th Floor, Capital Tower, All Seasons Place
87/1 Wireless Road
Tel: (662) 305-8000
Fax: (662) 305-8010
Web site: www.linklaters-alliance.com
Miyake & Yamazaki
Suite 1903 Wall Street Tower 33-96 Surawong Road, Bangrak
Tel: (662) 266-2840
Fax: (662) 238-0858
E-mail: Kobayasi@loxinfo.co.th
Norton Rose (Thailand) Limited
130-132 Wireless Road, Sindhorn Building, Tower 2, 14th Floor
Tel: (662) 263-2811
Fax: (662) 256-6703
Web site: www.nortonrose.com
Tillekie & Gibbins International Ltd.Tillekie & Gibbins Building
64/1 Soi Tonson, Ploenchit Road
Tel: (662) 263-7700
Fax: (662) 621-0172
E-mail:postmaster@tillekieandgibbins.com 
Web site: www.tillekieandgibbins.com
White & Case (Thailand) Limited 
5th Floor, Gaysorn Place (Gaysorn Plaza)
999 Ploenchit Road, Lumpini
Tel: (662) 656-1721
Fax: (662) 656-1733
E-mail: bangkok@whitecase.com 
Web site: www.whitecase.com
Vickery & Worachai Ltd. 
6th Floor, Diethelm Tower A
93/1 Wireless Road
Tel: (662) 256-6311/4
Fax: (662) 256-6317/8
E-mail: vwlaw@loxinfo.co.th
Pramuanchai Law Office Co., Ltd. 
2038-2042 Rama 6 Road, Pathumwan
Tel: (662) 219-2031/2
Fax: (662) 219-2155/60
E-mail: pmclaw@cscoms.com
Siam Premier
24th-26th Floor, Thai Wah Tower II, No. 21/147-150, South Sathorn Rd. Tel: (662) 679-1333 
Fax: (662) 679-1314 
E-mail: siamlaw@loxinfo.co.th
  

Accounting firms in Thailand


BDO Richfield Ltd.
CTI Tower Rachadapisek Rd.
Tel: (662) 261-1251
Chaiyostrai Management Consultants Co., Ltd.
142/40 North Sathorn Rd.
Tel: (662) 234-6427
Fax: (662) 235-2532
D I A Accounting 
316/32 Soi 22 Sukhumvit
Tel: (662) 259-5300
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Co., Ltd. 
25th-26th Floor Rajanakarn Office Building
183 South Sathorn 
Tel: (662) 676-5700 
Fax: (662) 676-5757-8
Dharmniti Auditing Co., Ltd. 
267/1 Pracharaj Soi 1 
Tel: (662) 587-8080
Ernst & Young Ltd. 
33rd Floor Lake Rachada Building 
New Rachadapisek Road 
Tel: (662) 264-0777
661-9190/661-8336/661-8799 
Fax: (662) 264-0789-90
KPMG Peat Marwick Suthee Ltd. 
9/F Sathornthani Bldg 2
92/18 North Sathorn
Tel: (662) 236-6161-4
Fax: (662) 236-6165
PriceWaterhouseCoopers 
15th Floor, Bangkok City Tower
179 South Sathorn
Tel: (662) 286-9999
Fax: (662) 286-5050
SGV Na Thalang & Co., Ltd. 
989 Rama I Rd.
Tel: (662) 658-0658
 

Financial Institutions

 

Commercial banks

The commercial banking sector has undergone a significant restructuring and consolidation following the outbreak of the economic crisis. There are now only 13 commercial banks operating in Thailand, several of which were rescued by the government and came under its control, at least temporarily, during the crisis. Some of these banks have been sold off to foreign banks, while the sale of others is still pending.
The list of commercial banks operating in Thailand is as follows:
Bangkok Bank, Thai Farmers' Bank, Krung Thai Bank, DBS Thai Danu Bank, Thai Military Bank, Siam Commercial Bank, Standard Chartered-Nakornthon Bank, Bank of Asia, Bank of Ayudhya, UOB Radhanasin Bank, Bankthai, Siam City Bank, and Bangkok Metropolitan Bank. 

There are 20 foreign bank branches located in Thailand. These are:

ABN-Amro Bank of America Bank of China
Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi Bank of Nova Scotia Bharat Overseas Bank
BNP Paribas Chase Manhattan Bank Citibank
Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank Deutsche Bank AG Dresdner Bank AG
Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corp., Ltd. Industrial Bank of Japan International Commercialb Bank of China
Overseas Chinese BankingCorp., Ltd. RHB Bank Berhad The Sakura Bank
Standard Chartered Bank Sumitomo Bank Ltd.  

Stock markets

The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) is Thailand's primary stock exchange. It was established in 1974, and is supervised by a Board of Governors. The Board consists of 11 Governors, with five appointed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), five elected by the SET member companies, and a full time president, who is appointed by the Board and serves as an ex-officio Board member.
The SET considers applications from companies requesting listing on the Exchange, including ensuring applicants meet requirements as well as submit the correct documentation.
It has also established information disclosure requirements for listed companies and monitors all trading activities involving listed securities.
Currently, the SET has 50 broker seats, and there are 27 active members at the Exchange. Member companies must be securities companies permitted by the Ministry of Finance to conduct securities business in the category of securities brokerage.
All listed companies are public limited firms. Becoming a listed company not only allows a firm to gain access to development capital, but also allows shareholders to benefit from investment liquidity and enjoy dividend income as a result of revenue or profit growth at the companies they invest in.
Figure 1 shows the SET's performance for 1998 and 1999, along with selected months in 2000.

Figure 1. Activity on the SET


Source: Stock Exchange of Thailand

In line with the Thai Government policy to support the development of small and mediumsized enterprises, in June 1999, the SET established a new secondary market for trading SME shares, called the Market for Alternative Investment. As of the end of 2000, no firms have listed on the MAI yet, but several are expected to list in 2001.

Infrastructure

Thailand’s infrastructure clearly lagged behind its economic development during the boom years, and perhaps Thailand’s growth could have been even higher had it not been for the bottlenecks created by a lack of infrastructure. Bangkok has the unenviable distinction as one of the most grid-locked cities in the world. In recognition of these problems, the Thai government formulated a long-term infrastructure plan to meet the demands and requirements for a modern industrial economy. Concerted efforts are being made to put in place an extensive infrastructure system that can keep pace with and facilitate the country’s industrialization and development.
Thailand’s Eight National Economic Plan (1997-2001) continues from the previous ones in devoting increasing budgetary allowances for infrastructure investment and expansion. The Eighth Plan allots US$75 billion for infrastructure development, which is 47 percent more funds than the previous plan. Among the major infrastructure projects underway are expressways, rapid mass transportation, port development, water supply, and telecommunications. Several legal reforms are ongoing to facilitate the private sector’s participation in infrastructure development and to make government agencies more transparent in their procurement practices.

Land transportation

Thailand has one of the region's most developed road networks, covering over 170,000 kilometers. Despite the extensive road network, Bangkok became notorious for its traffic jams. Significant improvements have been made in alleviating the capital’s traffic problem because of the expanding expressway system, which connects Bangkok with most of the surrounding provinces, and by new rail rapid transportation projects. An elevated train system in Bangkok opened in December 1999, and extensions are already planned.
Additionally, an underground subway system is under construction and should be complete in 2003.
Thailand is spending US$700 million on these light train projects. Its rail network spans 4,000 kilometers and connects with all the major regions of the country. The State Railway of Thailand plans to spend US$4.2 billion between 1997 and 2001 to expand its double-track system to 70 percent of its rail network.

Air transportation

To accommodate the flourishing tourism industry and the increasing number of business travellers, Thailand is expanding its existing international airport to accommodate 36 million people by 2003 and building a second international airport 30 kilometers east of Bangkok.
Altogether Thailand has six international airports (although only four are functioning as international airports) and 29 domestic airports, with several more provincial airports pending. Thailand aims to become the region’s air transportation central due to its central location in South-East Asia.

Water transportation

Thailand has eight international deep seaports, with the main ones in Bangkok, Laem Chabang, Phuket, and Songkhla. More ports are planned for construction, particularly in the southern region, in order to reduce the burden of the over-stretched main port in Bangkok’s Klong Toey district.
Upgrading the country’s sea transportation infrastructure is concentrated along the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea. The government seeks to disperse industrial activity throughout the country by promoting the Eastern Seaboard region and the southern ports. The Eastern Seaboard is now an important centre of industry in Thailand because of the industrial parks and export processing zones that sprung up around the deep sea port in Laem Chabang.
The government expects equal success in the near future for the rapidly developing port areas in the South.

Industrial estates

Over 60 industrial estates or special export zones are in operation throughout Thailand, and several more are planned for the southern region. Many of these are a combination of public and private sector joint ventures, while others are entirely run by the government's Industrial Estates Authority of Thailand. Several industrial areas receive special designation as export processing zones, which entitles producers in the zones to favourable treatment in the form of incentives.

Telecommunications

A telecommunications Master Plan for 1997-2006 intends to modernize and privatize Thailand’s telecommunications sector. The Master Plan envisages an increase in the number of telephones per 100 people from four in 1993 to 18.2 by 2001. To help achieve this goal and other telecom requirements, Thailand’s Eighth National Plan earmarks US$7.5 billion for upgrading and expanding the telecommunications infrastructure.

Social infrastructure

Thailand has a well-developed social infrastructure covering education, health, recreation, and entertainment. Excellent hospitals, world class recreational facilities, and a nation-wide educational system are easily accessible throughout the country to all citizens and foreign guests. Thailand has over 1,300 hospitals, including advanced, specialized service hospitals.
Primary and secondary schools are found throughout the country. Several international schools are located in Bangkok and the major industrial areas of the country. The higher educational system contains 23 public universities and 17 private universities or colleges.
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