Research Output
Examining the opportunities and challenges of the Kra Canal: a PESTELE/SWOT analysis
  Purpose – Much literature considers future impacts of the Kra Canal on shipping times and on individual countries. In this paper, the authors consider the maritime business potential of the Kra Canal for companies, ports and countries.
Design/methodology/approach – Based on a combination of a review of the extant literature, quantitative data from relevant calculations and qualitative data from semi-structured interviews with experts (n = 20) from four countries in the region, this paper contextualises the business potential of the Kra Canal through a PESTELE (political, economic, social, technological, environmental, legal and ethical) analysis before outlining a more targeted SWOT (strengths weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis to consider the potential for maritime business.
Findings – The PESTELE analysis reveals that there are a number of challenges related to the construction and possibility of the Kra Canal being built such as its impact on the political balance within the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) region. The SWOT analysis shows that the potential of the Kra Canal for maritime business is significant, and that the strengths and opportunities of increased route possibilities and reduced sailing times outweigh any weaknesses and threats.
Originality/value – Most studies into the Kra Canal focus on highly specific research targets or provide a particular perspective (e.g. historical). This paper, by drawing on two commonly used analytical frameworks, considers the canal for the first time from a wider context perspective as well as a specifically business one. Recommendations are made for policy makers and maritime businesses on the basis of the results.

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    17 August 2021

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  • Funders:

    Ministry of Science and Technology (Taiwan)


Tseng, P., & Pilcher, N. (2022). Examining the opportunities and challenges of the Kra Canal: a PESTELE/SWOT analysis. Maritime Business Review, 7(2), 161-174.



Management of Technology and Innovation; Strategy and Management; Transportation; Business and International Management

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