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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.