Getting Started

The United States and Thailand have enjoyed a special commercial relationship more than 180 years under the Treaty of Amity and Commerce. Under the treaty, with the exception of a few sectors, U.S. companies operating in Thailand are afforded national treatment, or an “equal playing field,” with Thai companies. More detailed information on doing business in Thailand can be found in the following sections.

Getting Started

  • Commercial Service Thailand’s Customized Market Research (CMR) provides businesses with customized, individualized information on the local market. CMR answers questions such as the overall marketability of a product or service, market trends and size, standard distribution and promotion practices, market entry requirements, regulations, product standards and registration, and key competitors. U.S. companies have the flexibility to design their own research with customized requests or questions or to choose from a Core Menu of standardized questions. Contact office.bangkok@trade.gov to learn more.
  • An overview of the Thailand market can be found here.
  • Contact your local U.S. Export Assistance Center for advice and support on exporting to Thailand. Contact a Trade Specialist Near You.
  • Visit the U.S. Trade and Development Agency website or contact its office in the Washington, DC area or in Bangkok, to view the opportunities offered through their grant and contract programs, as well as upcoming events that may involve Thailand.
  • Contact the U.S. Export-Import Bank for guidance regarding obtaining financing for your exports of goods or services.
  • Contact your local Small Business Development Center (SBDCs) and visit the U.S. Small Business Administration’s webpage on exports. Starting a business can be a challenge, but there is help for you in your area. Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) are partnerships primarily between the government and colleges/universities administered by the Small Business Administration and aim at providing educational services for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.
  • Contact in-country business support organizations such as the American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand or the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council.
  • Make use of business matchmaking services and other resources provided by the U.S. Commercial Service, including trade counseling, market intelligence and commercial diplomacy, among many others.

Potential Investors: Getting Started

If you are a potential investor in Thailand, here are some steps you may wish to consider.


Current Investors: Staying Connected

If you are a current U.S. investor in Thailand, the U.S Embassy wants to stay in touch. Here are a few steps you can take to keep the channels of communication open:

Business Visas

Foreigners who wish to work, conduct business or undertake investment activities in Thailand must apply for a Non-Immigrant Visa at the Royal Thai Embassies or Royal Thai Consulates-General. Various categories of the Non-Immigrant Visa are currently provided to meet the needs and qualifications of individual business persons. These include business visa Category “B”, business-approved visa Category “B-A” and investment and business visa Category “IB”.

For information on obtaining a visa to visit Thailand, visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website or for other business visa related inquiries, please contact the Embassy Visa officer at bangkokbusinesstravel@state.gov

In cooperation with U.S. Embassy Bangkok, the American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand helps expedite visa interview appointments for qualified members through the Business Executive Visa Program. For more information, please contact service@amchamthailand.com

Travel Advisories

Before visiting Thailand, visit the State Department travel site for up-to-date travel information.

FCPA

The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is an important anti-corruption tool designed to discourage corrupt business practices in favor of free and fair markets.  The FCPA prohibits promising, offering, giving or authorizing giving anything of value to a foreign government official where the purpose is to obtain or retain business.  These prohibitions apply to U.S. persons, both individuals and companies, and companies that are listed on U.S. exchanges. The statute also requires companies publicly traded in the U.S. to keep accurate books and records and implement appropriate internal controls.

More information on the FCPA can be found here.

A party to a transaction seeking to know whether a proposed course of conduct would violate the FCPA can take advantage of the opinion procedure established by the statue.  Within 30 days of receiving a description of a proposed course of conduct in writing, the Attorney General will provide the party with a written opinion on whether the proposed conduct would violate the FCPA.  Not only do opinions provide the requesting party with a rebuttable presumption that the conduct does not violate the FCPA, but DOJ publishes past opinions which can provide guidance for other companies facing similar situations.

More information on the DOJ opinion procedure can be found here (PDF 25 KB).

Where can I find more information about buying from Thailand?

These websites can provide more information about how to purchase goods from Thailand.