Thailand is currently the 17th largest global manufacturer. It is the second largest producer of light pick-up trucks as part of it's #14 ranking in auto production. In other areas of manufacturing it ranks #2 in production of hard disk drives and occups the top spot globally in the production of natural and synthetic rubber.
Even with these strong standings, the country is looking toward positioning itself as the center of the ASEAN Economic Community which starts in 2015.
In 2012, foreign direct investment in Thailand was US$9.4 billion. The top two investors were Japan at US$3.8 billion and the U.S. at US$937 million, followed by the U.K at US$759 million and Hong Kong at US$564 million.
A strong source of future investment will come from the ASEAN nations due to its tremendous growth potential. By 2020 this economy will double, according to IHS from $2 trillion in 2012 to $4.7 trillion by 2020.
Optimism seems to abound when discussing Thailand’s manufacturing sector. Companies operating there cite its business-friendly climate, coupled with a large supply chain, backed up by a geographical advantage and supported by a network of incentives, as factors that will enable Thailand to remain an important player on the manufacturing stage.