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Thailand's cashless ecommerce

Rabbit Pay being used at McDonald’s In Thailand Source: nationmultimedia.com

Thailand’s ecommerce market is booming and shaping up to be one of Asia’s top performers. The imminent start of the government’s national e-payment system aimed at making Thailand a cashless society and expected to see double-digit growth.

The value of the ecommerce market was forecast to be $58.4 billion (2.1 trillion THB) in 2015, a 3.65% increase from 2014. Moody’s Analytics found that the increased use of electronic payments, including credit, debit and prepaid cards, added $3.18 billion (0.19%) to Thailand’s gross domestic product from 2011-2015, the largest weighted average increase in Asia.

The big winner in Thailand’s online marketplace has been its social commerce scene. Thai consumers are rated as being among the most likely in the world to use social media networks to find products and sellers. A March 2016 survey by PwC found that 51% of online Thai shoppers had purchased directly via social media. The rise of mobile commerce has proven to be a boom for e-payments platforms.

The national e-payment system, which will be launched by the government this fall, aims to make Thailand cashless and support the country’s digital economy policy.

Analysts expect the national e-payment program to help propel growth in ecommerce and related fintech.

Earlier this month, Facebook was revealed to be trialing an option in Thailand that would allow users to pay for products listed on Facebook Page, but Facebook is late to the party. Chat app Line, with two million users base has already launched extensive payment options. Alibaba’s third party e-payment platform, Alipay, has also been making inroads in Thailand, along with some of its main Chinese competitors.

As global giants continue to close in, it is this knowledge that could allow the Thailand ecommerce landscape to avoid the fates of South Korea or the United States, where the market was consolidated to the point that only the major players were left standing.

A version of this appeared in Forbes on June 27. Read the full article here.

brexit impact on thailand not concerned gov, sleeping asian man

The Thai government is positive about Brexit, as officials insist that Britain’s exit from the European Union is unlikely to negatively affect any trade talks Thailand has with the EU. In fact, the Brexit will release a lot of restrictions for its trade policies with Southeast Asian countries. If Britain wanted to initiate a free bilateral trade pact with Thailand, the talks could happen instantly without waiting for a green light from EU commissioners, said Sirinart Chaimun, Director General of the Trade Negotiations Department.

Negotiations for a Thai-EU FTA were formally launched on March 6, 2013. Currently, EU commissioners were reluctant to hold any talks with Thailand until the country’s new constitution is in place. These talks were suspended following Thailand’s 2014 military coup. In June 2015, the EU said it would delay signing an agreement on closer economic and political ties, due to Thailand’s political unrest.

The Brexit will release a lot of restrictions for its trade policies with Southeast Asian countries.

In 2015, Thailand’s exports to the 28 EU countries were just under $22 billion, down 6% from 2014. Shipments to Britain were worth $4 billion. Shipments to the EU contributed to 9% of Thailand’s total export value. The numbers seem to suggest that if anything, Thailand’s own political instability has more of an impact on the country’s international trade, more than Brexit itself.

A version of this appeared in Bangkok Post on June 27. Read the full article here.