With rapid up numbers of Thais on-line, internet is a fertile ground for start-ups

Most people do not know this, but the Thais shop the most on the Internet, and that, is even with all the problems with Thai e-commerce has. So just imaging, if Thai e-commerce was easy with few problems? Thailand has a population of roughly 70 million people and a GDP of $646bn, which make it the world’s 24th-largest economy. There are approximately 25 million Thais online with this figure expected to reach 40-50 million by 2015. Unseen by Europe, is the degree to which Thailand’s internet users are “social” – more than three quarters of the online population is on Facebook, making Bangkok the world’s Facebook capital with a Facebook population of more than 8.5 million. Such is the degree of social media engagement that Zalora Thailand, Rocket Internet’s Thailand fashion venture, established in late 2011, has more than 528,000 fans, of whom 115,000 talk about it. Of all the emerging internet markets, Asia is making entrepreneurs and investors most exited. China is set to outgrow the US online retail market – the market size is estimated at $650bn, India with its population of 1.25bn already has an online population bigger than Germany, France and Italy’s combined and for the first time, businesses have the chance to reach Indonesia’s 17,500 islands and 250 million people via a single outlet. Southeast Asia is of particular interest with an overall population of around 600 million people, and the current unexpected economic growth is offering up huge opportunities, primarily due to expanding economic liberalisation. This is not without justification – in 2015 the ten ASEAN member countries will merge their markets to a single, unified Asian Economic Community (AEC), largely built on the model of the single European market. Out of the ten ASEAN countries, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore will be under the spotlight: Indonesia due to its huge size and therefore potential (250 million people), Malaysia due to its overall advanced level of development and combined widespread use of English and Singapore with its superb business and regulatory environment. However, largely overlooked is Thailand – currently ASEAN’s second-biggest economy and fourth most populous country, not to mention it has a thriving startup scene (Source).

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