Would You Invest in Thailand or Vietnam as an Emerging Market

Henry Temple-Baxter
3 min readAug 1, 2020


Photo by Chris Slupski on Unsplash


Thailand has done well, let’s go back and look at the history of the place it has never been colonized and never had a real war in modern times (Kanchanturbri was not a war with Thailand it just took place in Thailand), as have to use good diplomatic tactics to side with both conflicting nations (Japan and China) now China and the U.S.

This has been a kind of blessing for it has not had the motricity that Vietnam has had. Really was there any point in starting a war to stop communism and get involved in other countries’ affairs. Although, Thailand has done well in creating its own problem political upraises seem to come around as common as a four years election cycle and would hardly call the place stable from a political front. So, it hasn’t been perfect.

But Thailand, with the late King, did get some growth over the last forty years roads are good and development in the cities are as good as any in the west.

Although personally, I prefer Saigon to Bangkok, you can see that Thailand is about 10 years ahead without looking to strongly at the GDP figures.

Economy Data

Thailand has a GDP per capita, in 2018 of 7455 that in the region is one of the top ( behind Singapore, Brunei, and Malaysia). But if we break this down, and look where it comes from, 27% is from tourism, with the real number indirectly, looking at around 56%. This will, decrease, as with the strong Thai baht and the weak Yuan. China being the tourist. Furthermore, you have seen a shift from western tourists to India and Chinese. These on average spend around 30% less. So, it will continue, to see a slow down in this area.

It does however have a strong automotive and semiconductor industry that looks to be on the rise or at least stable. The trade war has also given Thailand a boost to some industry but has been more of a burden, due to China’s slow growth, meaning less tourism from China.

Thailand, in November 2018, imposed monetary easing to try and reduce its strong THB (that was the then world’s most rising currency of the year) but several attempts have failed and this still sees THB as an overpriced currency impacting more condo sales tourism and exports.

As seen from the table above its growth has been somewhat sporadic, in the last 5 years.


So Vietnam, we know the history here but in the last few years, this place is going through a boom, it GPD is skyrocketing, at 7% a year and even with COVID-19 it only looks to have a 0.2%-0.4% effect on its expected GDP, this year.

Vietnam, tourism, unlike Thailand, has still a long way to grow and is one of the fastest-growing tourism places in the world.

Furthermore, the trade war has had a big influx of factories going to Vietnam, as lower labour cost and tariffs, has been the most convenient option for most companies.

The outlook of Vietnam is 7% and has been for the past 5 years (near enough) and unlike Thailand is seeing more of population growth.

For it to surpass, Thailand as its GDP levels are still less than half but sees it doing so in the next 10 years.

From an investment, standpoint. As an emerging market, or to buy land, I am very bullish on Vietnam and see now as the time to get in.

Further Reading



Henry Temple-Baxter