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Jonathan Fairfield

Farang husbands providing massive boost to Isaan economy

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Farang husbands providing massive boost to economy in Isaan

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KHON KAEN:-- A study recently carried out by Khon Kaen University has found that foreign men who are married to women from Isaan have boosted gross domestic product in the region by almost 9 billion baht.

The findings of the study, which looked at the impact foreign husbands have on the economy in the north east of Thailand were unveiled by Asst Prof Kalapapruek Piwthongngam, from the Faculty of Management Science at the E-saan Centre for Business and Economic Research, reports Daily News Online.

According to the study, after a woman from north east Thailand gets married to or engages in a long term relationship with a foreigner, on average she will normally send approximately 9,600 Baht per month back to her family in the region. This money is normally used to help the family with living expenses, purchasing food, paying for utility bills and education.

The study also found that on average, the wife and foreign husband will normally return to the wifes family home in the region at least once a year, sometimes staying for as long as one month, which results in a dramatic increase in financial spending in the local area.

This increase in spending is mostly seen in the automotive, retail and wholesale sectors, as well as in the local property market. The purchase of household goods, personal items and gold also normally increase during this time.

The E-saan Centre for Business and Economic Research also estimated that this spending helped to create nearly 747,000 jobs in the region.

The centre found that increasingly more women aged between 20 and 40 years old from the north east are marrying foreign men, with a definite trend developing, according to Asst Prof Kalapapruek.

The study found that most foreign men marrying women from north east Thailand came from the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland.

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-- 2014-10-22

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Is this a new study?

Or a rehash of one a couple of years old? The thread on TV went 15 or so pages as it would on this topic.

As an aside, the Philippine government acknowledges that money sent home by overseas citizens and former citizens represent almost 10% of GBP (about the same as the tourist industry is worth to the Thai GDP). This includes overseas workers as well as those who have married and moved away.

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Very interesting.

These figures are huge!

I wonder what Isaan would be like without all this funding from Farangs?

In the older study the numbers were in the region of 4-6Billion Baht a year for Issan alone.

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I'm pretty sure this 'study' has been done regularly over the last 20 years with exactly the same conclusion. I always thought this university was supposed to be one of the better ones outside Bangkok.

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Is this a new study?

Or a rehash of one a couple of years old? The thread on TV went 15 or so pages as it would on this topic.

As an aside, the Philippine government acknowledges that money sent home by overseas citizens and former citizens represent almost 10% of GBP (about the same as the tourist industry is worth to the Thai GDP). This includes overseas workers as well as those who have married and moved away.

We had a number of Filipino workers here over the years. We were required to send 70% of their salary directly to their bank in the Philippines. They could draw up to 30% of their pay in country if they so chose. Their government could also dictate where they could, and couldn't, work and prevent them from leaving the country if it looked like they were heading to a banned country.

As for the contribution foreigners make to the Isaan economy, we'd need to see what the GDP is for that area in order to determine if this amount represents that large of a contribution. I recall crunching some numbers not long ago to try and determine the overall contribution "long term" stayers had on the Thai economy as a whole, and it turns out they were nowhere near the "economic" force they thought they were.

9 billion is a large number of course, but needs to be taken in context. For example "Although Isaan accounts for around a third of Thailand’s population and a third of its area, it produces only 8.9% of GDP. Its economy grew at 6.2% per annum during the 1990s."

The latest numbers I see show the Thai GDP as - THB11.375 trillion (USD366 billion)(2012). If you attribute 10% of that to coming from Isaan that means the whole contribution from the region is about 1.14 trillion.

9 billion from foreigners would represent about 0.79 % of that total.

To put it another way, Isaan has a population of approx 22 million. 9 billion would equal about 410 baht per person (per year). Not exactly earth-shattering.

This is interesting also, when put into context.

Thanks for sharing.

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Is this a new study?

Or a rehash of one a couple of years old? The thread on TV went 15 or so pages as it would on this topic.

As an aside, the Philippine government acknowledges that money sent home by overseas citizens and former citizens represent almost 10% of GBP (about the same as the tourist industry is worth to the Thai GDP). This includes overseas workers as well as those who have married and moved away.

We had a number of Filipino workers here over the years. We were required to send 70% of their salary directly to their bank in the Philippines. They could draw up to 30% of their pay in country if they so chose. Their government could also dictate where they could, and couldn't, work and prevent them from leaving the country if it looked like they were heading to a banned country.

I used to sail with Filipino seamen. Whenever we hit port they'd sub the maximum amount they were allowed in US$ bills, wrap them in a parcel and post them home to the family.

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