Exporting guide to Thailand


Thailand is located in South East Asia between Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar (Burma) and Malaysia. Thailand is the UK’s 37th largest trading partner, as well as its 48th largest export partner (ONS, 2019).

An established export market

There are already 5,200 British VAT-registered businesses exporting to Thailand (HMRC, 2017), with openings for SMEs as well as large corporations. In the year to June 2019, the total value of UK exports to Thailand amounted to £2 billion (ONS, 2019). Opportunities for UK businesses are available particularly in the technology, e-commerce, agri-business and infrastructure sectors.

An expanding economy

The Thai economy is predicted to grow by 3.5% in 2019, following 4.1% GDP growth in 2018 (IMF, 2019). This combined with consistently low inflation and unemployment figures (IMF, 2019), should lead to the increased spending power of the country’s population which could favour UK exporters. Import levels have risen significantly at the same time, with increases of 6.2% and 8.6% recorded for 2017 and 2018 respectively (IMF, 2019).

Access to new markets

Thailand’s geographical setting makes the country a hub for UK businesses looking to access opportunities in the Greater Mekong sub-region. It’s a good strategic location for exporting to Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar (Burma) and southern China.

A temple in Thailand

Thailand: at a glance


Thai baht

Business languages


You may need a translator

GDP per capita


UK is $46,200 (IMF, 2021, projected figures)

Economic growth


(IMF, 2021, projected figure)

Time zone

GMT + 7

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Check for trade barriers

Trade barriers, such as tariffs or taxes, can raise costs, cause delays, or even stop you from exporting. Check for any issues that may impact your business when exporting.

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Check duties and customs

Find information on how to export goods from the UK. View the duties, rules, restrictions, and the documents you need for your products.

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Next steps

DIT can advise you on doing business abroad, and help put you in touch with other people who can help such as lawyers and distributors.