Chiang Mai is the economic driver and business centre of Northern Thailand. There are many industries here but some sectors of crucial importance to the city’s financial wellbeing.
Agriculture is probably Chiang Mai’s most significant sector. Northern Thailand is blessed with fertile soils, high rainfall (for part of the year) and plenty of sunshine. The perfect recipe for crops of all kinds. As you would expect in such a rich agricultural region food processing is also a significant industry.
In 2017 the Thai government designated Chaing Mai as a ‘smart city’ and this is the development of digital and technology businesses. In addition to Thai companies, Chiang Mai is described as the world capital of digital nomads and the influx of internet entrepreneurs has introduced new skills, enterprise and a can-do attitude to the city.
Tourism is, of course, a significant industry. The city welcomes 10 million tourists a year (70% domestic, 30% from overseas) which have spawned thousands of hospitality businesses from major hotel groups to individual entrepreneurs chasing the tourist dollar.
Overall Chiang Mai is an entrepreneurial city which like anywhere has its business ups and downs. However, the last 20 years have seen spectacular growth and development and there is every indication that this will continue in the future.