- What is the basic political structure? Thailand’s political structure is a constitutional monarchy.
- Who holds the decision-making power? The decision-making power is held by the Senate, House of Representatives, Supreme Court and Prime Minister.
- How strong are the political institutions? The political institutions are strong, however there has been constant conflict as power and positions have been passed back and forth between 17 different coups.
- What role do formal institutions play in the decision-making process? Much like the constitutional monarchy in the United Kingdom, Thailand’s king does not hold any political power. The other branches of government (Senate, House of Representatives, Supreme Court, and Prime Minister) are responsible of the decision-making.
- Are political divisions apparent? What are their relationships to each other? The political divisions are evident between the different groups that are trying to obtain power.
- What role does the public play in decision-making? The people of Thailand are very active and voice their opinions. They protest and rally when they are in favor of or against the decisions being made in the political structures.
- Where does your client fit in the political power structure? Our client would have to be very mindful of the politics of bringing in a business into a country that is highly centralized.
- What is the basic economic structure? Thailand’s economic structure is heavily dependent on exports.
- What is the level of economic development? Thailand has the second largest economy in Southeast Asia.
- How centralized is the economic decision-making power? The economic decision-making is very centralized and often disconnected with what is really need in different fields.
- What economic power does the government hold? The private sector? The government holds the majority of the economic power. It has not been until recent years that they have provided a small place for the private sector to develop.
- What is the relationship between private and public sector? The public and private sector relationship is relatively young and is still developing, however it is estimated that the development of the private sector will increase the economic growth in Thailand.
- Where does your client fit in the economic structure? Our client would enter in the private sector, which is still developing in Thailand. There will be many obstacles to overcome with the regulations that are implemented in that sector.
- What is the level of mass media development? The media is highly development, especially when it is compared to surrounding countries in Southeast Asia. There are about six free television stations and two stations owned by the government.
- What different media outlets exist? Television, magazines, radio, censored Internet, newspapers, social media sites, and blogs.
- What is the relationship between the mass media and the political power base? The mass media is relatively free, however there are parts that are regulated/censored by the government especially the Internet.
- What is the relationship between the mass media and the economic power base? The mass media and economic relationship is a standard one that aids the development of economics, with some reservations. The industries that are prevalent in Thailand, textiles, technology, and jewelry to name a few, find their way into mass media through advertising. This also affects the surrounding countries, the economics and mass media working together, helps Thailand as it is highly dependent on exports.
- What medium appears to be most frequently used or prevalent? Television is the most popular communication medium in Thailand.
- What credibility do the media hold with the public? The media holds a reputable credibility with the public as 80 percent of the population obtains information by the main avenues of media, television and radio.
- How frequently does your client rely on the mass media? For what purposes? Our client would rely heavily on mass media to do advertising and familiarize the public with the company.
- What is the level of development? Thailand is classified as a “leap frog” country, which means that its economic growth is strong, but has not reached its full potential to be considered a “developed, first-world nation”.
- What is the level of communication? Is it reliable? The level of communication in Thailand is like most other countries, television, radio, Internet, newspapers, etc. There are two television stations owned by the government and six “free” stations (free means not owned by the government). There have been changes made in the recent years, like the establishment of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), the new regulator for Thailand’s communication systems, which has given hope of further growth.
- Is transportation involved in the project? Are the roads or public transportation reliable? Thailand has a highly developed road system and public transportation, however one may experience lengthy delays during rush hours especially in the city of Bangkok
- What technological capabilities exist? Are they reliable? The basic technological capabilities exist (telephone, Internet, etc.) and they are reliable in the most centralized parts of the country.
- Is steady, reliable electricity a factor? It is not a factor; it has a consistent flow of electricity.
- What precautions or contingency plans does your client have if infrastructure is a factor? The location in which our client decides to open for business would have to be in a central part of the cosmopolitan area.
- Is the “rule of law” written? Thailand current constitution contains the “rule of law” (written in).
- What is the relationship between the legal system and the political power base? Thailand has faced a turbulent relationship between its legal and political power as it has endured 17 different types of power regimes over the years. The relationship between the two is strained.
- Are there specific legal codes dealing with communication activities? Yes, there are legal codes that restrict certain aspects in communication activities. These codes however are not applicable to our client at the time.
- Do you need a legal advisor? Yes, our client would be entering under the private sector and it would very difficult without someone who has knowledge of the legal system.
- What is the dominant religion? The dominant religion of Thailand is Theravada Buddhism.
- What is the general level of education? Literacy rate? Thailand’s general level of education depends on the region; the average level of education is year nine out of the twelve years of education provided by the government. The literacy rate in Thailand is in between 93 to 96 percent.
- Is race or ethnicity a factor? How homogeneous or heterogeneous is the population? Thailand is made up of different ethnic groups that are often identified by the language they speak, region, or descendants.
- How do the people tend to “divide” themselves? Race? Religion? Ethnicity? The division between people in Thailand comes from wealth and status.
- How geographically dispersed is the population? Rural? Urban? 67 percent of Thailand’s population lives in rural areas and 30 percent lives in urban area.