Thailand is the world's 20th most populous country with approximately 63 million people, and is comparable in both population and land area to France. A constitutional monarchy, with His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej serving as Head of State since 1946, it is also one of the world's most devoutly Buddhist countries.
Thailand exports more than £71 billion worth of goods and services annually and is the world’s number one exporter of rice, while tourism makes up about 6% of the economy. Its rich and colourful culture, renowned hospitality and tropical climate have made it a favourite destination among tourists, as well expatriates and retirees from all over the world who succumb to the country’s numerous charms, buy property in Thailand, and remain happily in the country.
In addition to its well-known tourist attractions, the country’s world-class international schools and hospitals, excellent air, rail and road network, and the year-round rental market for Thailand property, are all factors that influence the decision of many foreigners to make a property investment in Thailand, a decision validated by both their vastly enhanced lifestyle and the capital appreciation of 20% that many have enjoyed over the past five years.
The government’s five-year marketing plan to promote the country and its initiative to encourage more foreign investment by lowering property taxes, have also led more foreigners to buy properties in Thailand, as have the ease of both freehold and leasehold condominium purchase and the movement of funds into and out of the country. The double taxation treaty between Thailand and the United Kingdom that is expected to be signed in March 2009 will make property investment in Thailand an even more attractive proposition.