Thailand's export e-commerce expected to grow substantially
Thailand’s e-commerce sector is expected to see strong growth in the next few years, increasing in value from US$ 3 billion last year to US$ 13 billion by 2025 on the back of strong global demand for Thai products. The top five exports sold through cross-border trade in Thailand's e-commerce are jewelry and watches, health and beauty products, auto parts, home and garden items, and collectibles. The US is the largest market for Thai e-commerce businesses, accounting for around half of all exported items bought through e-commerce. The UK is second followed by Australia, Germany, and Russia.
Test runs on the MRT Dark Blue line have begun and the opening from Hua Lamphong to Lak Song is scheduled to begin this year. The other extension from Tao Poon to Tha Phra is expected to open next year, making it the first circular transit line in Bangkok. The new lines will increase ridership to more than 400,000 passengers a day with the first extension and to 600,000 with the full opening. Five new lines are under construction connecting to the MRT Dark Blue Line; the BTS Light Green Line (Mo Chit-Khu Khot), the Yellow Line (Lat Phrao-Samrong), the Light Red Line (Taling Chan-Bang Sue), the Dark Red line (Bang Sue-Rangsit) and the Orange line (Thailand Cultural Centre-Minburi). The first four lines are expected to be completed by 2021 while the Orange line is scheduled for completion by 2024.
The Tourism Council predicts that tourist arrivals will reach 9 million in the second quarter of 2019 bringing the first half totals to 19 million, on track with the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s projected 19.9 million arrivals in the first half of the year. The TAT predicts the total number of tourist arrivals for 2019 to hit 40 million arrivals bringing a projected 2.13 trillion baht to the Thai economy.
Pattaya is being pushed as the newest MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions, exhibitions) destination by the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) Office and Pattaya City. Pattaya City, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Khon Kaen and Bangkok are promoted by the TCEB as the main MICE cities and new infrastructure including the expansion of U-tapao airport will help grow MICE travelers to the city. A new convention center is in the works, with an aim to grow the number of MICE events. Last year, Pattaya saw 169,629 foreign MICE travelers and 1.7 million domestic MICE travelers, generating 16 billion baht. TCEB is encouraging more hotel operators to be certified under the Thailand Mice Venue Standards or TMVS.