Farang in-laws 'add B8.7bn to GDP'

Farang in-laws 'add B8.7bn to GDP'

A Khon Kaen University study has found marriages with foreigners by Thai northeastern women boosted gross domestic product of the Northeast by 8.67 billion baht.

Asst Prof Kalapapruek Piwthongngam, director of the E-saan Center for Business and Economic Research, Faculty of Management Science, unveiled the study on the impacts on the northeastern economy of foreign spouses on Tuesday.

According to the study, after a northeastern woman married a foreigner, she will send 9,600 baht a month on average to her family to help with its expenses.

Each year, the couple and their children will visit the wife's family in Thailand and stay for around one month, spurring spending in the region, Daily News Online reported.

The study found spending by these "farang in-laws" has bolstered regional GDP by 8.67 billion baht, especially in retail, wholesale, automotive and engine repairs, as well as personal and household items (4.57 billion baht).

The activity also created 747,094 jobs, the study found.

The centre found more and more northeastern women married foreigners, setting a trend, Ms Kalapapruek said.

In 2003, there were 19,000 couples, mainly in Nakhon Ratchasima, Khon Kaen and Udon Thani.

Most of the foreign husbands were from Europe, primarily England, Germany, Scotland, Switzerland and Netherlands, followed by Asians.

The women who married foreigners were 20-40 years old.        

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