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Economy

Practical Guide > About Thailand

These days see Thailand as an emerging economic power in South East Asian, ranking 4th richest in South East Asian for GDP per head, after Singapore, Brunei and Malaysia. The Thailand economy is heavily dependant on Export.

Economic Crisis

During the 1980's, Thailand was making significant progress towards catching up with the 4 larger economic powers in Asia, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan. However this came to an end in 1997 as a serious economic crisis hit the country. The crisis lead to the collapse of exports and share prices, and a run of the Thai Baht. The cause of the collapse was an oversupplying of new office space as a result of a high increase in new high-rise office being built, all funded by foreign debt. This over supply resulted in assets becoming either non or under performers result in foreign debts not being pay. The Thai banks including the Bank of Thailand feel victim to the crisis which result in the foresaid collapse of share prices and the run on the Baht. Corruption in the country worsen the effects of the crisis. In August of 1997 the International Monetary Fund released a rescue package for Thailand included conditions that required Thailand to introduce new laws and a strengthening of regulations.

The Thailand economy had recovered by 2001 and by 2003 Thailand had managed to repay the IMF it's debt, well ahead of schedule.



Exports
The USA is the largest importer of Thailand goods. Japan is the largest supplier to Thailand with the USA coming second. It has been the increase in exports to the USA and Thailand's neighbours that have help the country recover from the crisis of 1997. Thailand is now in the top 10 of world car producers and is a main supplier of Japanese cars to the rest of Asia.

In 2008 the estimated value of exports reached 110.9 billion (at today's rates).

Main Export Partners
USA 12.5%
Japan 11.6%
China 9.7%
Singapore 6.3%
Hong Kong 5.7%


Imports


As a result of increased production and export in Thailand there has been a recent increase in imports in to Thailand. Thailand's main imports are Machinery and parts, vehicles, electronic circuits, oil, fuel and chemicals, iron and steel.

Tourism

The estimated number of tourist to have visited Thailand during 2010 was 14 million plus. Tourism in Thailand has been growing steadily over the last 3 decades and Thailand has one of the largest tourism markets in South East Asia.






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