A founding member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and a major US ally, Thailand is the only country in the region never to have been colonized by Europeans. Its tech sector is currently too fragmented to offer reliable opportunities for software outsourcing, but this is a market to watch.
Talent Pool & Education
Tech expertise relating to 5G mobile network rollouts, data analytics, blockchain and other digital transformation skills will be in hot demand in 2022, according to a survey by the professional recruitment firm Robert Walters. More remote work and greater demand for roles connected to digital advances are predicted to drive salary increases of 10-30%. Bangkok’s True Digital Park, the largest tech and startup hub in Southeast Asia, is scheduled to open before the end of the year, with integrated commercial/residential areas and a 24-hour “lifestyle street.”
The official language is Thai. Few locals are fluent in English outside the international business community. However, those businesses that aspire to be global players, such as software development firms, recruit for English proficiency.
The Thai economy is expected to continue its recovery in 2022 but not return to its pre-pandemic level until the following year. The hard-hit tourism sector is yet to rebound significantly but will be boosted by the resumption of a quarantine waiver for foreign tourists. Finance minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith says the government plans to invest $27 billion in infrastructure projects this year, with a number of public-private investment projects in the pipeline.
General Prayut Chan-o-cha took over as prime minister in 2014 after leading a military coup that ousted the elected government. Chan-o-cha has cracked down hard on waves of pro-democracy protests. Some political pundits are speculating he may leave office before the next general election, scheduled for March 2023. King Maha Vajiralongkorn has little direct power under the constitution, but insults or threats to the monarch remain a criminal offense.